Scummit now a production company of Lionsgate has dispensed with their mountain logo for a more classical look,but their schtick is still the same.
This movie is DISASTER PORNO
Every microgram of melodrama, just plain drama, every cliche, every little tidbit of sentimentality in word, gesture or image has been plastered on the screen to manipulate your emotions and wring your feelings and penetrate your guts.
I hated myself for every tear welling in my eyes when I knew how they were playing me for that and still succeeded.
The very worst ones are when the wonderful Naomi Watts is battered almost beyond recognition in the hospital. Women are not allowed to be portrayed as battered by men anymore, but it is OK when a tsunami wave does the job. So we see her bloodied face, swollen, blackened eyes, and we even get a bit of tit that she quickly adjusts in front of her son in a desperate scene when other matters take precedence.
The cast is wonderful but the screenplay plays every bit of personal tidbit of drama it can eke out of a tragic happening. It is a porno erotic masochistic marathon with close close-ups so we can see the suffering really up close and personal.
I cannot begin to say how awful this film is with its wonderful performances and it resonates with what Robert Pattinson had to endure with the terrible screenplays of Melissa Rosenberg for the Twilight films.
Certainly Watts and McGregor had no idea from the screenplay that they were going to be photographed almost exclusively so close that their entire faces could not be contained by the screen. It was obscene in how close we felt to them, how close we endured their suffering faces that became pure eroticism for the effects of perversion. As close to a snuff film as you are going to get.
The end has this family - it's another true story you know - flying to civilization to receive the best medical care money can buy, leaving all the poor folks and brown folks still wretched in their loss and bereavement on the island of paradise ruined.
The last scene is pure soap opera with Watts's face huge, trembling, letting sobs out that have been held in so long, her quivering lips and chin and her completely vulnerability giving in to tragedy. She is beautiful in this moment and brings tears to even my cynical eyes in my fury at this grotesque display of obscene weeping in a close up that is so close it might be sexual.
Her face is reflected in the plane window, pales out as the ruined landscape appears in the window of the private jet and the credits begin to roll where we see the real family all happy and smiling that they lived through this horror.
The box office is about 200 million including domestic and overseas. The CGI was Summit's typical on the cheap, but what else can you expect from this bottom line player that Twilight saved from bankruptcy.