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Greetings again from the darkness. Survival movies come in many shapes
and styles. There are classy ones like All is Lost (with Robert
Redford) and Life of Pi (Academy Award nominee). There are thrilling
ones like The Edge (with Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins). And of
course there are the kinda trashy ones that usually feature beautiful
and clueless people stuck on an island somewhere like in Turistas (with
What we rarely see are survival movies that just don't have much going
on. Open Water is about the closest to this latest from director Gil
Cates, Jr and writer Jeff Gendelman, but at least that one offered the
constant threat of a shark attack.
Sad sack Mitch (Sean Astin) visits his Alzheimer's-stricken mom in the
nursing home before heading out to the middle of Lake Michigan in what
he plans as his final voyage in life. At the most inopportune time
given his goal it's his boat that is rendered lifeless thanks to the
scattered pieces of a plane crash. Mitch drags the survivor (Chris
Mulkey) aboard and the two fellows proceed to prove that their
philosophizing and reminiscing are no match for the conversational
skills of a boy and his tiger (Life of Pi).
Flashbacks are the key to us understanding the reasons these two
crossed paths in such an unusual manner. We see Mitch's guilt and
inability to be a worthy partner in a relationship, and we see pilot
Kelly's desperation in trying to making ends meet for his family and
regaining his confidence as a man.
There are a couple of funny "guy" moments (the poet comment made me
laugh), yet somehow the conversation of these two men in a
life-threatening situation pales in comparison to the exchanges of two
gents over a meal in My Dinner with Andre. Where is the danger? Where
is the stress? Where is the soul-searching? It's unfortunate that the
extended periods of two guys in a boat just don't have much to offer
for the 86 minute run time, because the stage was set for much more
Tags for The Surface Full Movie
, John Emmet Tracy
, Mimi Rogers
, Sean Astin
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