Whiteout is based on a graphic novel by Greg Rucka & Steve Leiber. Having never read the graphic novel I am unaware of the origins to the film. Whiteout was released in the cinema to not much fan fare and only made $12 million worldwide. The film cost an amazing $35 million to make. Surely, the studio loosing on some money, but let’s get to this review.
The film directed by Dominic Sena revolves around a U.S. marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), the only one assigned to Antarctica. She must investigate a murder there within three days before the Antarctic winter begins. For U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, things are about to get even more dangerous. The only law enforcement in this unforgiving territory, she has just been sent to investigate a body on the ice. This is the Antarctica’s first homicide. A shocking discovery in itself, it will plunge her into an even more bizarre mystery and the revelation of secrets long-buried under the endless ice–secrets that someone believes are still worth killing for.
As Stetko races to find the killer before he finds her, winter is already closing in. In the deadly Antarctic whiteout, she won’t see him till he’s a breath away. She crosses paths with a Pilot called Delfy (Columbus Short) and U.N. operative Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht). Robert Pryce is also investigating the murder of the same victim. The three characters cross paths and go on a chase round the Antarctica to find the missing link and the killer. As the story develops more mysteries are uncovered. As the plot thickens more surprises are thrown, I don’t want to say too much without giving away anything to the film. But there are some good moments here. The fight sequence at the end of the film gets a special mention as you can see what its like to brave the conditions of the cold.
Billed with the title Whiteout:The Coldest Winter Ever, it had a catch to it. After hearing this I liked the look of the film and was hoping to catch it when it was released in the cinema, but something always put me off going to see this. When you watch a Thriller, you always want to be second guessing about who did what and when. As the story develops it becomes apparent that it’s very easy to work out. I have to say the cast put on a great performance in the film due with the lack of material they had to work with and a special mention goes to Columbus Short he truly looks like an up and coming actor. Also Tom Skerritt is excellent as usual with the character he plays. The film lets itself down with the story and it starts to become apparent that there are many plot holes within the film. I have to say if you’re looking for a basic thriller with an okay story then give this a go. It’s worth a rental at least but defiantly not a purchase in my book.
Optimum has released this film on a BD25 disc with 2:40:1 1080p AVC codec. I have to say for such a recent Blu-ray release this has a good transfer and has some stunning shots of the snowy surroundings. It is just a let down somewhat in the scenes shot inside, sometimes I will get the feel I’m watch a stunning HD film and other times I feel like I’m watching a DVD. It’s very peculiar to say the least. There are several soft scenes where the detail lacks a bit. Other then that the video holds up well and I can give it a 4 out 5.
Optimum has given us a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. As always the soundtrack lives up to film and this is an excellent soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong its no Transformers soundtrack, but this is why we pay the money for our Blu-rays. I can’t really complain about this from Optimum. Conversations are clear and clean between characters. Ambience noises and special effects are there to be heard in the rears. As always the DTS-HD lossless soundtrack comes through with the goods and makes this Blu-ray experience enjoyable for that.
Whiteout has your basic set of extras on the film which include:
Whiteout: The Coldest Thriller Ever featurette – Basic interviews and a behind the scenes look at things.
Whiteout: From Page to Screen featurette – Again basic interviews and the story behind the graphic novel.
Deleted Scenes – Some scenes taken out of the film, they do not really add anything extra to the film.
Trailer – A promotional trailer for the film.
None of the extras really add to the experience of the Blu-ray. However, all the extras are in high definition so you can’t have any complaints there from me. The extras are your basic lot for this release and I can’t see anything extra that could be included.
Whiteout was a tricky film to review I wanted to like it more but I just couldn’t. Kate Beckinsale looks lovely as usual. Overall I liked the idea of the film and what it was trying to do but the plot just let it down in the end. The characters gave a good performance with what they had but I always felt I was missing something in the film and that I never really got that filled. Optimum has given us a great transfer and audio codec. I would recommend getting this as rental first as the Blu-ray has a good transfer and audio codec. You may like the film or you may not but I recommend giving this a rental first before purchasing Whiteout.