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Whiteout Vies For Worst of the Year

Directed by Dominic Sena
Written by Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Chad Hayes, and Carey Hayes based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka
Warner Bros., 2009

Oh, Dominic Sena, where have you been?  The great director of the Gone in Sixty Seconds remake and Swordfish finally comes back and shows what he’s made of with a movie that clearly will be considered for one of the five worst films of 2009, and it took four writers (two pairs of brothers) to adapt some obscure graphic novel that telegraphs the killer within the first ten minutes.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I cannot figure out why filmmakers continue to put certain lines or certain editing choices in a movie that take away from the mystery…when the movie is a mystery.

Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is a U.S. Marshal who has been sent to Antartica, to get away from the awfulness that was shooting her partner some time ago.  People are here for usual expeditions of science, and she hasn’t had to do much, stuff that is below her abilities, but someone turns up dead and now, she’s got a murder investigation to run.  With help from Dr. John Fury (Tom Skerritt), pilot Delfy (Columbus Short), and later, UN investigator Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht), she hopes to find a killer who is interested in some sort of nuclear substance that was on a crashed Russian plane.

While the film tries to find a way to get you to suspect everyone, you can just look at the clues the dunderheaded film provides that basically shout the answer.

More incompetence: How about a scene where we sit and watch Kate Beckinsale take off layer after layer of clothing, like we’re watching some sort of softcore flick…and there’s no nudity.  The scene could easily have started with her in the shower, but we sit and watch her take off a ridiculous amount of articles for no reason.  Or, how about the scene in which Carrie, Delfy, and Robert walk onto a 50-year-old crashed Russian plane, see some dead bodies and a few bullet holes, and are able to reconstruct exactly what happened within a few minutes.  And when they get trapped in the plane after a pile of snow blocks the entrance, there is no tension whatsoever.  “Oh well, we’re trapped and may lose all of our oxygen, but no worries.”

Yes, this movie is awful.  There is no redeeming value, although Beckinsale’s ass, clothed as it was during the “Carrie takes a shower” scene, is pretty dynamite.

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