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January 08, 2013

The Impossible

The ImpossibleYet one more example of a real-life story someone thought would “make a great movie,” “The Impossible” is as flat and predictable as they come. The story is based on one family’s precarious survival of the Christmas Day, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which was caused by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. The only thing the film has to offer — and it is no small contribution — is its impressive special effects that put the audience right in the middle of Mother Nature’s most destructive wrath. The tsunami sequences are astounding, and not for the weak or elderly. This is big screen spectacle like you’ve not seen before. Even Clint Eastwood’s immersive treatment of the same devastating event in his 2010 film “Hereafter,” pales by comparison.

Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play a British couple — Henry and Maria — who are on holiday at a beach resort hotel in Thailand. Oblivious to the warning signals of the approaching wall of water, the family is broadsided by the catastrophe that separates the family in the blink of an eye. The badly wounded Maria searches with her oldest son Lucas (Tom Holland) for the rest of their family. Henry, in the meantime, carries out his own desperate attempt to reunite with his family. Although the ensemble performances are solid, the story is simple to a fault. Not every dramatic real-life story can be turned into a great or even good movie. “The Impossible” falls somewhere below mediocre.

Rated PG13. 107 mins. (C-) (Two Stars - out of five/no halves)

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