Horrorible Review: “The Wave”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

The Wave movie poster

The Wave

For the first time, I’ve seen a Norwegian film that just didn’t do it for me, and that makes me sad. The Wave is a straightforward language mixing thriller set in a beautiful part of Norway. An impending fjordic tsunami has geologist Kristian Eikjord on edge, especially because he won’t be around to fix that and the impending familial tsunami. His new job is taking everyone away from the home they love, and taking him away from his job of keeping track of the mountains that occasionally fall into the fjords and wipe out villages from the ensuing wave.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Kristian is very good at looking hangdog or worried or uncomfortable, since that’s all he does with rare exception. I think he’s in training to be the Old Norwegian Man Who Must Lecture after his retirement. His wife Idun is better at everything, it seems, than him, except for geology. Once she finishes fixing that leaky sink, she’ll probably crack a book and best him at that, too. Since he didn’t seem to mind I’ll just go ahead and get over that.

The movie is like a paint-by-numbers set, with every disaster thriller trope covered exhaustively.  The Character Buildup section is a little long and includes few others than the nuclear Eikjord family in the Make The Viewer Care division. Then the Actual Disaster was too short, which makes everything else seem a little too long. We see the classic:

  • scientist misses early warning from the elaborate and expensive warning system that is his full-time job to monitor
  • only one of the highly trained scientists knows what the heck is going on, and no one listens to him
  • no one in town reacts to the alarm they’ve feared and trained for their whole lives
  • He’s dead! Grieve!  He’s NOT dead! Yea!
  • trouble in the marriage
  • disaffected son
  • cute as a button daughter

Kudos to the supporting scientists who really worked the Confused Co-Worker During A Known Crisis face, as well as the Dramatic Pause Before Pushing Any Important Buttons.

My problem with the overused tropes was that unlike the makers of Trollhunter and Dod Sno, The Wave doesn’t add anything new to the standard stew of a “disaster waiting to happen”. Typically a real life killer act of nature, like the San Andreas shaking up California, or a hurricane laying waste to Florida, adds a spark of thrill to the action. This is stuff that has happened before and will certainly happen again, so it should be extra scary.

Fortunately for The Wave, the filmmakers know how to make their very pretty country look even more gorgeous, and at 36,000 gigabytes of data per disaster shot, the killer wave looks pretty menacing. Overall, it’s not a bad film, and the person I watched it with liked it very much. Maybe my Norwegian bar is too high, but I expected more and was disappointed it was only good and not great as I had hoped. See this if you’re into a standard Look Out! It’s Gonna BLOW! thriller, and maybe come up with a bingo game for all the tropes.

LINKS:

THE WAVE Trailer (Disaster Movie – 2016)

CFR: In Addition: First I wish to apologize for this posting being late. I was very sick last week and am still suffering. Grrr…

Second, I LOVED the movie The Last Wave by Peter Weir and thought for a brief moment this was a similar movie. Uh, nope.

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