The disaster movie genre has had a back track record or hits and misses, with high points like The Poseidon Adventure or low points like 2012. In the case of The Wave, this puts those failures to shame as director Roar Uthaug has not only managed to make a great disaster movie, but he’s also created an intense and believable catastrophe movie which manages to hit every single beat right, without falling in into the cliché-ridden traps that plagued films like the idiotic 2012. For the first 40-or-so minutes, it brilliantly builds up the main characters and makes us identify and connect with the struggles they go through as the dreaded tsunami hits. Like The Impossible, this has one man going against all odds, without hesitation and contemplating whether or not he and his family can live with the bad choices, and so on.
The build-up to the tsunami may be slow, but it builds up to a great excitement, and when the tsunami hits, it hits hard and fast. What is downright amazing about the whole film is the fact that the total production budget of this film is only around 5 million dollars, yet you don’t think that while watching this movie. In fact, its special effects rival that of a big budget Hollywood film, and it is made without compromise. The total devastation the tsunami leaves behind is powerfully impactful, and the underwater sequences are completely believable and tense-ridden. The fact that all of the actors in this movie did all of their own stunts certainly has to be applauded.
All the actors in this film do such a great job in their roles with both Kristoffer Joner and Ane Dahl Torp coming across excellently as the heroic couple that will do whatever it takes to be reunited and protect their family. Jonas Hoff Oftebro is remarkable as the son, whilst Edith Haagenrud-Sande is incredibly perky and believable as the optimistic daughter.
The fact that this film was made in Norway and is a Norwegian production may come across as surprising to you, but this is a perfect example that even Norwegians filmmakers can make that rival that of big budget Hollywood blockbusters of late. The effects are astounding, the performances are great and the catastrophic situation itself is believable and keeps you hooked throughout. Hopefully, this could mean great possibilities are in store for the forthcoming Tomb Raider movie starring Alicia Vikander, which Uthaug is attached to direct and is expected to be released by 2018.
Dir: Roar Uthaug
Scr: John Kåre Raake, Harald Rosenløw-Eeg
Cast: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Thomas Bo Larsen, Fridtjov Såheim, Jonas Hoff Oftebro, Edith Haagenrud-Sande
Prd: Are Heidenstorm
DOP: John Christian Rosenlund
Music: Magnus Beite
Run time: 105 mins
The Wave will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 15th August.