Films: The Impossible Review (or ‘Not Really A Disaster Movie, But That’s A Good Thing’)

In my 2012 Awards, I mentioned that I only went to the cinema 14 times last year. That much is true, but I subsequently remembered that I actually went to a different cinema to see The Artist and therefore had only used my Cineworld Unlimited ticket a grand total of 13 times.

What that means is that I paid an average of £13.84 every time I went to see a film.

Talk about poor value for money…

So I’m making a conscious decision to go more often and get some use out of the card in 2013.

That run begins with The Impossible

What’s This One About?

It’s based on the true story of a family who are separated from each other as a result of the Tsunami that devastated Thailand on Boxing Day 2004.The_Impossible

Thoughts – Not Really A Disaster Movie

When I was thinking about how I was going to approach this review during the film, I had considered making a flippant remark about how the film was about a woman who cut her leg during a tsunami trying to get to a hospital, because that’s what it seemed to be about initially.

And in fairness, beyond the wow factor of the tsunami hitting at the start – a special effect that is done exceptionally well by the way – there isn’t much to it in terms of a plot.

But as the film developed it became clear that it wasn’t really about the story moving from A to B to C, but rather about showing the effect the tsunami had on the people caught up on it. Rather than being a ‘Disaster Movie’ in the same way as The Towering Inferno or Volcano where the event is the star of the show, this is more of a study of the immediate aftermath of the incident; the loss, the heartache, the damage the tsunami caused and the chaos in the villages, towns and nearby hospitals.

And what you get is a very powerful piece of film.

Most of the credit has to go to the actors, who are all very good, and I include the child actors in that.

Usually I hate child actors because they are invariably either unconvincingly crap or horribly crafted Hollywood kids who appear to have been bred specifically for the movies (like Macaulay Culkin or the girl from Matilda who you never hear of anymore).

But these ones were all convincing. The oldest and most significant one – Tom Holland – took a little bit of time to grow on me because of his bratty English accent, but I have to say he won me over pretty quick.

And both Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts were excellent. In particular, the scene were McGregor’s character breaks down on the phone to once of his relatives is heart-wrenchingly believable.

‘Based’ On A True Story

The film is called The Impossible, no doubt because of the very long odds of the family being reunited again after the tsunami hit, but it is based on a true story, so what happens must have a certain element of credibility to it.

However, you do have to wonder how much creative license is on display here, because I have to admit I found the way certain members of the family find each other again (and I’m trying to avoid spoilers here…) to be beyond far-fetched.

I know that they must have found each other, otherwise there’s no film to be had here, but it just seemed a little bit too coincidental to be 100% true. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s so out there that if it wasn’t based on a true story, you’d really mark the film down a few points for coming up with such a twee ending.

Should You Go To See The Impossible? 

I think I would place The Impossible on the same shelf as films like United 93 and The Passion of Christ.

You watch them, you are drained by the emotional nature of what is on display in front of you, and though you really enjoy it you’re in no hurry to see it again.

It gives an eye-opening look into just how bad things were during the tsunami and it holds your attention for the whole two hours. My dad – who I went to see this with – said he felt it could have lost around half an hour of screen time and been better for it, but I don’t necessarily agree; I was enthralled throughout.

So I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you see this film, but I’d be prepared for a more draining emotional couple of hours rather than a Hollywood blockbuster with a dazzling script.


One Response to Films: The Impossible Review (or ‘Not Really A Disaster Movie, But That’s A Good Thing’)

  1. […] Hornet The Green Lantern Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Harvey Hitchcock The Impossible Killer Elite The King’s Speech Lincoln Looper Marvel’s Avengers Assemble The Muppets The […]

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