Saturday, March 03, 2007

Open Water 2: Adrift

I really liked Open Water, the 2003 independent film about a married couple who surface from scuba diving, miles off shore, to discover they've been abandoned by their tour boat. It was a risky movie to make: after all, nearly all the film was shot with two actors neck-deep in water, dog-paddling for their lives in shark infested waters.

Based on a true story, Open Water was original, intense and tragic.

I loved it!

Open Water 2: Adrift never made it to theaters, going instead straight to DVD. That doesn't dissuade me, really. After all, I watched a Morgan Freeman/Kevin Spacey straight-to-Blockbuster-flick a few months ago.

Of course, it was awful and I hated it. I'm just saying...

I was eager to see Adrift because of how much I enjoyed the first Open Water. I knew it had nothing to do with the original, but the idea of being alone and helpless at sea is scarier to me than movies about zombies or werewolves.

Because it's possible.

Adrift centered on five former high school friends who reunite to celebrate a birthday. Four of the five are now couples--two are married with a small child, and two others are dating--while one of the thirty something still lives like a nineteen-year-old. Impulsive, and moment-to-moment. The impulsive one, played by Eric Dane, gathers the group on a yacht and heads out into the blue. After some drinking, the adults hop into the ocean for a quick swim. Everyone is having a grand ol' time until someone realizes:

They forgot to put down the freaking ladder!

The yacht--it's not a boat, as Dane's character likes to remind his friends--is impossible to climb. For hours the group tries to get back on board, fighting anxiety, distress and each other. Some fall victim to tragedy, others overcome severe fear to brave through the dilemma.

Adrift isn't a great movie, but it's enjoyable if you like almost-bloodless thrillers. The ending is predictable, and the acting is average. But midway through, I realized I was holding my breath.

That's not a bad indicator that a movie works.


Hoyt said...

We really enjoyed Open Water.

Also, it's becoming my mantra after reading your reviews for me to reply: "I'll have to add ____ to my Netflix queue."

The Film Geek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Film Geek said...

Hey Hoyt: Open Water was much better, but this isn't a bad movie, really. Let me know what you think after you see it. Few of the characters are really likable, which made for an odd dynamic when watching the movie. But overall, it's a C+ movie for me.

JDB said...

Of all the movies I've seen, I think Open Water is one of the few that I can't imagine them making a sequel to. What,s next, Open Water 3D: Daniel's Revenge?

jedi jawa said...

The phrase that tends to make me not go see a movie is "based on actual events" (i.e. some event happened and we're going to tell a totally different story) and the phrase that usually makes me never see the movie is "inspired by true events" (i.e. we're making all this shit up but want to appear legitimate). I notice that there is a progression with the first to "Open Water" films so I expect for the third to be the "inspired" variety.

The Film Geek said...

Interesting point, Jedi. The original Open Water was very much based on a real event, one that was pretty well known. This one, well...I couldn't find any reference for it occuring.

Stanton said...

I agree with jdb. When I heard about "OW:Adrift" I thought it was the oddest sequel iea ever.

Open Water stretched the limits on what "based on real events" can mean. The only "real event" in the story is that a boat apparently left some people beind. The meat of the story is pure conjecture. I loved the movie, but the whole way through I kept expecting miraculous survival, else how would we know what happened?

The best movie ever to wear the label "This is a true story" was Fargo. The great thing about that was that it was complete fiction. "This is a true story" superimposed on the opening scene was simply a part of the storytelling.


jedi jawa said...

I like the way you think on that one Stanton. :-)