Review: Adrift

6 10

PLOT: A young woman (Shailene Woodley) and her badly wounded fiancée (Sam Claflin) find themselves adrift on a wrecked yacht after falling prey to a hurricane – leaving them with no hope of rescue.

REVIEW: ADRIFT is another in those “one-man/woman tries to survive” movies which are all the rage now. Sandra Bullock did it in GRAVITY. Blake Lively did it in THE SHALLOWS. Armie Hammer did it in MINE, Ryan Reynolds in BURIED, etc. Now, it’s Shailene Woodley’s turn, although at least she has Sam Claflin (whose character passes in and out of consciousness) to keep her company now and then. Similar to J.C Chandor’s ALL IS LOST, where Robert Redford found himself in a similar predicament, Baltasar Kormákur’s ADRIFT is distinguished somewhat by a strong, romantic vibe.

Based on a true story, Woodley’s Tami Oldham is a somewhat aimless traveler, reeling from a rough childhood. She meets her dream man in Claflin’s older yachtsman, Richard. After a dream courtship, the two agree to pilot a rich couple’s yacht from Tahiti to California, only for disaster to strike. A movie like this lives or dies by the central performance, and Woodley’s likability keeps the movie afloat (pun intended), although it helps tremendously that Kormákur breaks up the scenes of her being adrift with flashbacks to Tami & Richard’s courtship. He wisely also keeps the movie at a lean ninety minutes; although a twist late in the film is strikingly similar to GRAVITY (one might even call it a grab?).

Impressively shot, Kormákur is clearly trying for something more in line with the more commercially successful takes on this genre than the moody, indie ones, cue many shots of Woodley in skimpy bathing suits, while Claflin shows off his six-pack. They are a handsome couple, but they also have real chemistry (Claflin – given a few more years to weather – might one day make a really good 007). There’s not much to the premise other than them being adrift and forced to survive – but it’s kept interesting, with attention paid to the difficulty of their predicament and the need to be resourceful. You want them to survive.

All that said, I couldn’t shake the notion that something this low-key, without as obvious a hook as GRAVITY (in space!) or THE SHALLOWS (sharks!) will likely struggle at the summer box office. Indeed, despite a wide aspect ratio (that seemed closer to 2:55:1 than 2:35:1), ADRIFT is low-key enough, I’m half surprised it’s not a Netflix original rather than a mainstream release. It’ll likely disappear pretty quickly at the box office, but it’s still a relatively engaging little movie. Woodley and Claflin are a fine pair, and the fast-pace and romance makes for a solid watch.

Source: JoBlo.com



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