Whiteout Domenic Sena

Whiteout Domenic Sena
Like vast, snowy expanses of glacial desert, Whiteout is pretty to look at but, ultimately, is an empty, frozen wasteland. The unique idea of setting a mystery/thriller in an isolated Antarctic research station falls flat as tension fails to mount despite the claustrophobic nature of the frozen environment and the presence of a homicidal killer wielding a pickaxe. Awkward directorial choices such as stylized flashbacks and the occasional slow-mo sequence lower what are otherwise high production values, while stilted dialogue reduces the actors' performances to little more than caricatures. The story takes place at the Amundsen-Scott research station in Antarctica, where sole law enforcement officer on the continent, Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckensale), discovers a brutally murdered body far from base camp. With a limited number of suspects to choose from at the isolated base, Carrie must determine who the killer is and why someone involved in a scientific expedition would commit such a heinous crime. The DVD is light on extras, with only a standard "making-of" featurette exploring the extreme temperature of the on-location filming in Manitoba. As usual, the cast and crew talk positively about the experience, but, as anyone who has grown up in Canada will no doubt realize, working outdoors in minus-40-degree weather is in no way a fun experience. Other than that there is just an interview with the writer of the Whiteout graphic novel, upon which the film is based. While Whiteout isn't a particularly bad film, it never gears up to engage the audience. Even the seemingly guaranteed male audience who developed special feelings for Kate Beckinsale while watching her latex-centric performances in the first two Underworld movies will be disappointed, as other than a "hook you in" shower scene at the beginning of the film, Mrs. Beckinsale's assets spend most of the film buried under layers of thermal garments. If you read the graphic novel your curiosity will no doubt force you to check out this DVD, everyone else might want to wait until it's playing on late night TV. (Warner)