A disastrous tidal wave pummeled Thailand in 2004. Over 250 thousand people were killed and numerous families displaced. This film chronicles one of those unfortunate lucky families.
You would have to be nearly inhuman to remain unmoved by the tragic events portrayed in this movie. Devastation, especially surprising devastation, is hard to come to grips with. One minute your in foriegn paradise playing in a pool and the next minute thrown into death defying situations. Terrible, truly terrible.
This film, although good, is not without it's problems. It mostly follows a white family through the terrifying dismay and therefore feels somewhat disingenuous. When we see the hospital patients and those affected we mainly just see white people when of course those most affected were native to Thailand and even worse the family the story is based on happened to be Hispanic. Whats going on here? Obviously studios have to make money and money they shall make if Aryan stars are the victims of tragic circumstances. Just think about all the Holocaust films that are spoken in English with American or British actors. These historical innacuracies are overlooked not just due to financial uncertainties but also because it's easier to produce. I happen to agree in many cases. I happen to like films spoken in my own language—lol. I have to accept that this is just a representation of true events that, like any film purported on truth, will have artistic license employed, many times for the betterment of the art, not necessarily the truth. It may upset you that this particular film ignores the natives and chooses to focus on a beautiful white family but you will have to suspend itellectual woes and realize the horror through the fantasy portrayed. It is moving and it is troubling but hopefully it will lead you to look into the truth of the story to be facinated and appaled by nature.
Naomi Watts was spectacular in every respect as was her eldest son. The special effects are done with incredible accuracy as well. I challenge you to find any moment that feels like CGI. As far as disaster type movies go, this is one of the better ones with less Hollywood plot line and more documentary style action, however contrived. Disaster movies are easy to understand. Once your family is put in mortal danger the only next step is trying to save them or get them back together if separated—I'm sure everyone can agree. You will like this. Bring ample kleenex.
Recommended Viewing: Twister - Alive - White Squall
Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.5 - The Fan: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 81