Friday, September 18, 2009


The gorgeous Kate Beckinsale has returned in a mystery thriller that involves a little Cold War historty and alot of cold. I thought this was going to be a monster movie but that is what I get for assuming things.

Beckinsale is Carrie Stetko, funny name for an American. She is a US Marshall who had a tough case in Miami. This movie has a minor subplot which dives further into her character a little more. Her partner was going to sell her out to a high priced drug dealer but Carrie fought off this drug kingpin and then was forced to eliminate her partner when he dried to draw down on her. This event forces her to question her confidence since she failed to effectively read her partner's whims.

Carrie accepts a case in Antarctica. The beginning of the movie shows a series of flags, England and Canada's I believe, a couple of others but not a US one. Despite most the personnel seeming to be Americans. Strange. This post Carrie chose is extremely isolated but it is safe. There are not any drug dealers or arms smugglers here. I am surprised the US Marshalls has a officer in this location.

The film begins with a Russian Cargo plane flying over the South Pole. The pilots have a odd conversation. One of them takes some American liquor and pops the cork for the crew members. The crew members were elated. The Russian co pilot purposely drops the bottle which infuriates the crew members. The co pilot pulls out a hand gun and shoots one the crew members. But he is either slow with the weapon or the other crew members are about half way as quick as Doc Holliday. A shootout erupts, the pilot is destroyed, and the plane critically damaged. The camera shows us viewers a locked treasure type box for several moments. This is in 1955, around then, I forgot the exact date. The plane crash lands without any survivors.

Present day South Pole, their is a multi nation research and science station in full throttle. There are multiple labaratories and with experiements and ice samples being taken and examined. Carrie has just completed the rounds she is required to take around the compound and buildings when a pilot calls in and says he just saw a body on the ground out in the ice. How the pilot sees this body is open to speculation. The body is located by Carrie, Tom Skerritt who plays Dr. John Fury, and Columbus Short who is Delfy, the pilot.

Fury and Carrie quickly determine that this is a homicide. Carrie knows this investigation will be lengthy. With winter approaching, everyone is flying out for what is going to be a half a year whiteout. It is not a whiteout every day, and that is not the best description, it is hurricane like conditions but with terribly sub zero degree temperatures. Walking outside in this weather almost impossible and every structure has a thick wire that connects the buildings. Without this wire, someone can just fly off into the freezing weather and tremendous amount of energy swirling by.

Carrie knows who this person is, the dead person that was found 50 miles or so from their main compound. She quickly finds out where this person was working and attempts to call this station. It is a Russian station in the middle of no where, about 50 miles away. She receives a response in her queries and this man seems agitated and informs her she must come there and he can explain everything. She travels there with Delfy. But this is where she makes her first and almost fatal mistake. Delfy remains in the plane, as she walks to the Russian bunker and begins to search inside. She finds this man on the coach with his throat slit. Immediately, she is attacked by an unknown assailant. She should have gun drawn already. She is unable to dig her gun out from her weather clothes while this man does his best to impail her with a rock climbing stick.

She barely makes it back to the plane but she loses one of her gloves and two of her fingers are badly frozen. Delfy finds her unconscious and tapes up her fingers. She returns to the compound with Delfy, this time gun is drawn. The assailant is not there as they search the Russian research center. As her investigation continues, Gabriel Macht enters the fray as Robert Pryce. Pryce is a UN investigator who arrives unnanounced and seems to want to dictate the investigation. He says he is there because the UN wants to keep this situation from becoming an international incident. But it just started, that is odd. Also, who cares if it is big news. Will Antarctica be embarrassed or distressed? Whatever.

Pryce is actually there since someone has found what is in the box in the buried Russian cargo plane and is tried to auction it off to a arms trafficker they have been monitored. So he is dispatched in what seems to be as fast as lightening.

The Russians or this team is searching parts of Antarctica. They are doing this under the radar. The man who attacked Carrie also had a plane and he made it back to the main compound. Carrie, Delfy, and Pryce find the Russian plane which crashed half a century prior using the maps at the Russion compound. This movie is solid, it is a twister, and has a pretty good plot. Whiteout is a successful thriller, what the characters say has repercussions that appear later on in the story.

With the multi national outpost cleaned out of euphoric and celebratory researchers and scientists, Carrie is still hot on the case. She has lost two fingers, Fury had to amputate. Only four people remain in the comfortable American outpost. But there is still a killer on the lose who has killed three people. Before the planes took off with gear and people, this suspect was arrested. Carrie knocked him from behind as he was killing one of these guys who was searching for this plane. Pryce and Carrie seem to be perfect partners which is a stretch since they have not worked together for that long. They torture this suspect which is hilarious since Pryce works for the liberal UN. This suspect is Australian and demands to speak to his consulate. Yeah right, he talks trash that Carrie has lost two of her fingers. But they later get their revenge.

The interrogation is interupted since he says he has this precious cargo in his gear. While they run off too search this gear, they do not even handcuff him or duck tape him. They just lock him in a secured closet. He mysteriously escapes so another struggle with him ensues. Both of them working together, in the furious winter storm, they disconnect his saftey belt from the saftey wire and he flies off.

Carrie still does know why this man was killing these people and what was in that box. It could be uranium. She searches the flight manifest and realizes some items are not fully checked off. She goes to the bodies that have been recovered or killed and they are cut open and sewed up. She opens one of them and fines what appears to be clear but plastic ice cubes. They are pre cut diamonds since Fury tells us. Fury has orchestrated everything. He wants to be wealthy, but his greed has ripped his integrity asunder. Fury steps outside into the raging storm without proper clothing and as Carrie watches. Good, it saves alot of paper work and tax payer money.

How Carrie is supposed to continue her career as a US Marshall with two missing fingers is beyond me.

The movie's script was intriguing and gripping. Several scenes could have been watched twice. Carrie decides to remain a US Marshall but this matters very little if the movie was lame. There was action and some riveting events. There was not any wasted scenes, I do wish some facets were explained a little more. It was not that long though, Carrie never seemed to smother her makeup despite terrifying events popping up around her, and there was not that many characters. Beckinsale was also the only pretty face. I hope she does not get any skinnier.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

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