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.
aomi 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.
hy 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.
he 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.
he 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.