Disaster Porn. If The Raid is Action Porn and Twilight is Romance Porn, then The Impossible is Disaster Porn. A no-bones-about-it disaster movie, Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) delivers one of the most impressive action sequences you'll see this year.
Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and their three sons (all under thirteen) are in Thailand to celebrate Christmas when the tsunami hits. Playing in the pool area at the time of impact, Watts and eldest boy Lucas (Holland) are swept away, miraculously reuniting in the middle of rushing torrent. Finally finding some land, the two make their way to the crowded hospital wondering what has happened to the rest of the family.
Why isn't 2012 Disaster Porn? It was basically one looooong (ooooong) action sequence! Well, 2012 spent half an age setting up the characters we were supposed to care about when buildings starting falling over while The Impossible doesn't bother with all that hefty character stuff at the outset and cuts to the chase pretty early. Oddly, despite the lack of info on the characters, we care more about Naomi Watts's mum than John Cusack's writer in Emmerich's adventure. Making his Hollywood debut, director Bayona is confident he can do without it because the likes of 2012 are fantasy - The Impossible actually happened and is still very fresh in our memory. All we need here is 'loving parents/brave kid' and we'll fill in the blanks ourselves.
The story is simplistic but there are attempts to explore some odd facets of human nature. The expected instinct for survival and utter confusion (you've survived - now what?) is here but the dealing of the mum/son relationship is unexpected. During the arduous trudge through the undergrowth Lucas is embarrassed that his mother's breasts are visible when her vest is ripped and, later, turns away when a doctor cuts her top open to examine her. Its inclusion, and the emphasis on it, is strange.
The action sequence is so realistic in fact I thought for a moment 'the insurance for this movie must have been sky high ' and while the rest of the movie can't match that excitement, it's still worth seeing for that alone.
Review by Gavin Burke | 14:16 | Wednesday 5th December 2012 | Movie Review
Based on a true event, this is a really good film, I would highly recommend.Posted 23:40 | Wed 2nd Jan 2013
If it's a 'disaster movie' like you say, how can it be rated at 3.5 stars and 'still worth seeing'? The review is too ambiguous.Posted 23:57 | Wed 2nd Jan 2013
The Impossible is already one of my Top 15 films of the year. I was very impressed by it. It almost plays out like a horror film - no wonder, as the director also made The Orphanage.Posted 15:55 | Sat 5th Jan 2013
If you are squeamish DO NOT see this movie , there is a lot of scenes of injuries , blood and broken bones and lots of human suffering throughout the film but same time it is a well made movie and makes you appreciates life and pray that Tsunamis don't hit irelandPosted 21:27 | Sun 6th Jan 2013
Thought this was a very realsitic movie, very sad as well. Worth going to see.Posted 12:42 | Mon 7th Jan 2013
@Jack Brown - No point praying that tsunamis don't hit Ireland. Science has proved they won't, they occur along the plates. Also, The Impossible is incredible. Fantastic performance by Naomi.Posted 00:29 | Mon 14th Jan 2013
Thought the movie was excellent. Definitely one to see on the big screen. The wave was very well done. Heart wrenching but worth seeing.Posted 14:25 | Mon 14th Jan 2013
@DoubleLetter - An asteroid impact can cause a tsunami as well so if a asteroid hit the atlantic or Irish sea Ireland could be hit by one. . . . your right about it being a great film thoPosted 16:07 | Wed 16th Jan 2013
Just seen it.. Such a great film.. Best true-story movie I've ever seen..Posted 16:53 | Sun 3rd Feb 2013
Very disapointed by this review. This is no 'Disaster porn' about pumped up Hollywood heroes, but a sensitive and powerful portrayal of an ordinary family caught up in one of the worst natural disasters of recent times. I would definitely recommend.Posted 14:36 | Mon 4th Mar 2013
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