The Impossible

On December 26, 2004, a tsunami rocked the Indian Ocean and destroyed many islands and coastal communities. Over 230,000 lives were lost in a matter of minutes and it is one of the biggest natural disasters ever recorded in human history.

Honestly, I am surprised it took 8 years for a major movie to be made on the subject. After all, it only took 1.5 years to make a movie about the death of Osama Bin Laden, and a few months for a documentary on Michael Jackson.

Surfs Up
Don’t tell those people in the Chasing Mavericks movie. They would surf the fuck out of this surge.

The Impossible is specifically about a family from Spain vacationing in Thailand for Christmas. Henry (Ewan McGregor) is a businessman who works in Japan, and his wife Maria (Naomi Watts) is a doctor, but no longer practices to take care of their three boys. Their boys are Lucas (Tom Holland), then Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).

Then you know, huge ass wave. Maria and Lucas get swept down the current, while Henry and the younger boys get stuck in the resort area.

Turns out the acting in this movie is pretty darn great. Naomi Watts? Definitely deserves her best actress nomination. From a loving stay at home mom, to a weak and powerless person, the transition was quick and amazing to watch. Her survival rested solely on the shoulders of her oldest son,as the two were now equals while they were alone in the desecrated landscape. Tom Holland has been in theater for awhile, but this was his first movie role, and it was similarly knocked out of the park. Large portions of the film were left to him to carry, and he made it his bitch.

Finally, Ewan McGregor acted pretty strongly in the film as well. Despite the disaster in front of him, he continued to try and fit into his role as protector and provider for the family. He had to make multiple hard decisions before they were reunited, separating himself from his children, looking for his wife and other son, and helping others along the way. Plus, as a bonus, his sob sounds identical to how it did in Moulin Rouge, even after eleven years.

First, this log. Tomorrow, the world!

Despite the strong acting from the main three, the film suffered elsewhere. I loved the realism in term of the flooding and its lack of heavy CGI to get the effect they needed. But I think the film took too many liberties when it came to the actual story. Most notably, before the reunion, there was a pretty long scene of the multiple groups wandering around the same hospital, but continuously missing another party by a few seconds. It really cheapened it for me, for a film that was priding itself in its realism.

I also didn’t like that it seemed to create false suspense by only showing a couple character for long periods of time…even though the trailer and true story aspect give away certain “secrets”. We can’t not know that members of the family survived the initial onslaught thanks to the trailer, so stop trying to make it seem that way.

The rating for this movie I also felt should have been an R. Based on similar scenes in movies, I think it all of it is a bit too much with all of the injuries that occur. I almost threw up on a quick flash of a leg injury, given the detail in the makeup.

As expected, The Impossible is an incredibly sad film, but at the same time, a bit of an inspiring one.

2 out of 4.

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