Beckinsale's Hot in Antarctica
The most memorable thing about "Whiteout" is Kate Beckinsale as despite the bitter winds of Antarctica she is hot, so hot that director Dominic Sena gives us a scene of her stripping down, bending over in front of the camera in her underwear and then taking a shower. Now in fairness Beckinsale is a lot more than eye candy, she is an extremely talented actress but for a lot of "Whiteout" her purpose seems to have been to look darn attractive in front of the camera. That really says little for the movie itself which to be honest is disappointing in being so mediocre as whilst we have mystery and a great location as well as Tom Skerritt putting in a good performance it never once becomes the action, thriller it is trying to be.
At a research station in Antarctica, U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale - Vacancy) has just three days left before she returns home where she plans to retire as she is still haunted by events in her past surrounding a treacherous partner. But when a body is found in the midst of the frozen wasteland and it comes to her attention that there is a killer in the facility Carrie along with U.N. agent, Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht - Because I Said So) start to investigate and discover the killings are connected to a plane buried in the ice which came down over 50 years earlier.
I would never say that "Whiteout" is a gratuitous movie but it is one full of the unnecessary, from the opening series of scenes as we are taken back to 1957 and the Russian plane crashing down to the shower scene whose only purpose is to titillate using Kate Beckinsale's hotness. I could go on because there are a lot more examples and they all end up feeling like padding until the main storyline starts which is Carrie dealing with a murderer. Now this is extremely cliche, not in what is going on but how it is delivered, suddenly we have U.N. agent, Robert Pryce show up and we wonder whether he is the killer and then when we learn that the killer has a partner we wonder if he is the partner. It feels like rather than focussing on what the killer is after, which we know is something in a locked box on the downed Russian plane, director Dominic Sena focuses on trying to intrigue us with a guessing game to who the killer is. But because everything about the delivery of this is cliche it never excites, never really sucks us in and a scene early on which features a less than subtle glance between two people basically tells you who the bad guys are.
Now despite giving us a fantastic location to create atmosphere "Whiteout" comes up short with just a couple of moments of action and not a lot else. Oh there are close ups and alongside a close up of Beckinsale's backside there is a close up of a zip being pulled up, why? I have no idea but it is one of those irrelevant and unnecessary moments which add nothing but seconds to the movie. It is a case of some seriously flat movie making where it appears director Dominic Sena was so taken with the hotness of Beckinsale that far too often we get the camera lingering on her because of her beauty.
But as I said earlier Beckinsale is a lot more than eye candy and whilst her character may be ordinary, a cliche troubled law officer she does try to make the character interesting. In fact whilst every single actor is saddled with an underwritten character they all do a reasonable job of at least trying to bring life to the movie. The best performance comes from Tom Skerritt who at least brings character to the movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Whiteout" is not a bad movie but one which is seriously uninspired with director Dominic Sena seeming to be taken with Kate Beckinsale's hotness.