Cinematic Releases: The Wave (Borgen)

It has happened before. It will happen again. Morgan Freeman is not here to save us this time. 

Mother Nature takes swift and divine vengeance on a small Norwegian town in the new film, The Wave, in limited cinemas and on VOD streaming services this weekend.

Anyone have a surfboard. This wave looks killer.

Once again, Norway shows us how it's done. The Wave breaks Hollywood big budget stereotypes by being a disaster film that's more about character arc than it is about CGI destruction and effects shots. Stepping away from the dregs of standard Roland Emmerich styled mayhem and death, The Wave makes a hard case for realistic human elements instead of relentless action sequences and painful dismemberment. 

Unlike 2012, San Andreas, or countless others, this foreign film presents one single set piece that triggers a series of events hinging on mortal interaction between its main characters. The Wave exists in a world of natural beauty that's shaken to the core by a town destroying tsunami. While it does fall into some standard tropes at times, the movie is a calculated one that's ultimately based on substance of story. That said, Norwegian film takes another leap forward as a new competitor against lame domestic releases. Some viewers might be bored by the constrained scenes of the actual event that takes place while others will be overtly excited at the premise of a reality based outcome and adventure. The Wave is the Force Majeure of tidal wave movies, lacking some of the strangitudes between central characters. 

Hey look! A towering 200 foot wave. Let's just stand
here and look at it. Great idea!

With elegant greens and blues, audiences are treated to an earthy tone that sets an immediate mood. It swiftly shifts to dark and dreary reds and blacks that alter it to a claustrophobic feeling of impending death and doom. From the first moments, The Wave has a sense of tension invigorated by believable actors and a story rooted in realistic science. Showing only a few short scenes of the actual disaster taking place, this is more centered on a father's journey to save his family than it is about running us through typical disaster porn banality. Fans of the genre may be disappointed with the sheer lack of huge visual effect shots as others will delight in Roar Uthaug's tale of survival. 

The Wave is not going to change the genre forever and it's not going to win any awards either. It does go down the water logged path of flooded corridors and characters making really stupid decisions. There are even a few scenes that are stripped directly from movies like Titanic. However, the overall setting and story are ones we haven't seen before. That in itself is definitely worth the watch. With its cast giving some great performances and an emphasis on palatable exposition rooted in a science based premise, it's an enjoyable feature that's way better than crappy action juggernauts like that last movie starring The Rock. 

Put on your life jacket and share our review of The Wave.
Pinterest Google+ StumbleUpon Twitter Reddit Facebook