The Impossible Reviews
Henry, and their three boys (based on a Spanish family, but played by UK citizens) enjoying a Christmas vacation. Whereas in Titanic, the disaster doesn't strike until halfway through the movie, in this film, the wall of water sweeps through the family's resort within the first 15 minutes. The family members are separated during the aftermath and must struggle both to survive and to find each other. The film is anchored by an exceptionally strong performance by Tom Holland, who plays the oldest son, Lucas. There is a marvellous scene where Lucas, who is uninjured, helps out in a local hospital by searching for other people's missing relatives by calling out their names from a list. There is a mix of languages, but everyone immediately understands what he's doing.
We had little time before the tsunami to get to know any of the characters, so it is difficult to assess their actions and judge whether the experience has changed them in any way. Somehow, this film fails to convey the terror and devastation that I felt Titanic did, and it fails to elicit the same degree of empathy with the victims whose lives were so horribly smashed and tumbled. It may be that scope of this disaster is just too large for a movie to adequately portray. It's an impressive film, but doesn't manage to find the emotional core of the story in the same way that Titanic did.
Overall, it's a powerful film sure to elicit some strong emotions. Perhaps some of the moments will be too sentimental and some of the themes will be too heavy-handed for some, but the acting, especially that of Watts and Holland, easily overcomes those moments. The tsunami sequence alone makes this one worth watching.
Based on a true story, a family takes a holiday vacation down to Thailand, unaware of the tragedy about to strike. Without warning, a massive flood engulfs the entire result, along with the city surrounding it. The family is separated as they try and survive and reunite with the ones they love.
If anything, you should watch this movie for the performances alone. This is some of the best acting I've seen from these people right here, and they honestly carry the film. The main standout to me is Tom Holland. He's actually one of the biggest parts of the film and I hadn't even heard of this kid until "Civil War". However, his performance will not only leave you with a flurry of emotions, but shows just how bright his future is. As a kid actor and a young character, he never feels like dead weight at any point and he's the one who does most of the work. Naomi Watts also had some great moments as well, especially when she was in peril. Ewan McGregor also left me in tears on more than a couple occasions and his performance was just as mind blowing. This isn't the strongest script in the world, but the talent here really pushes this movie forward and they manage to create a compelling and emotional atmosphere.
The visuals and the mayhem are actually very impressive. In a very basic strip down, you could consider this a disaster film. When disaster strikes, not only does it look very real and devastating, but it looks ugly. I mean that in the best way possible as they destroyed tangible sets rather than artificially generate everything. It took them a year just to shoot those 10 minutes of disaster footage and it really came to life here.
Although intense and emotional at times, that was more or less due to the amazing performances with the occasional gritty visuals. I found the first 70% of the movie to be written very well, but as for the finale, the movie sort of fell to this cliched and empty finale. It didn't really feel like this movie built up to something awe inspiring and I was not surprised as to how it all came together. I felt like for the most part, this movie was written solidly, but there were some glaring issues when it came to the writing.
Overall, there are more than a few very emotional moments in this film. It's got some excellent performances and a great representation of the tragedies that struck this area. It's a great representation of how kind and compassionate humans beings can be while simultaneously showing the severity of uncontrollable disasters.
Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) are moderately happy couple who comes down to Thailand for a vacation with their 3 sons Lucas, Thomas and Simon. Just when the holiday mood kicks in the disaster strikes without a warning. With utmost perseverance and love for life Maria and Lucas endure themselves to safety badly beaten, scarred but not broken. On the other side, Henry is in search of his family. How their unbroken spirit and persistence help them to find each other constitutes the rest of the story.
The scene where Maria is stuck in a frenetic underwater current makes you look away but could have been done a lot better. It was also difficult to watch with my ardent fear of water. If not for a true story credit, the near misses and the way the family finally reunite looks a bit undercooked. Naomi Watts shoulders the first half of the movie but Tom Holland (Lucas) steals the show for a short while by portraying a kind, confident yet vulnerable character. Runtime could be edited by a good 20 minutes and the melodrama and over emphasis of the power of human spirit (though apt in this instance) was a bit too much. Background score does not leave a mark and nor does the Thai locals performance.
Touching and powerful occasionally but a little flat overall.