Monday, January 30, 2012



Liam Neeson: John Ottway, an oil refinery sharpshooter
Frank Grillo: oil rig worker John Diaz
Dermot Mulroney: a co-worker Talget
Dallas Roberts: another employees Pete Hendrick
Nonso Anozie: Burke
Jacob Blair: Cimoski

This “one-note” survival tale soon becomes repetitive: action then interlude, action then interlude. The entire thing is déjà-vu with its motley group of men reminiscing about better times while waiting for the inevitable.

The only thing that sets it apart from similar movies are the great shots of the Alaskan winter landscape.

for violence, disturbing content including bloody images and pervasive language.

• A drilling rig is a work-only environment; there are no amenities on site such as a bar.
• Just prior to taking off a passenger gets up and changes seats: that is not allowed on commercial airlines and he would have been told by the flight attendant to return to his assigned seat.
• John’s abrasion on his left cheek changes shape and location throughout the film.
• The Alaska Air National Guard would conduct a coordinated search to locate an overdue commercial aircraft and the 210th Rescue Squadron helicopters with two “Guardian Angels” would provide any necessary medical intervention so nobody in their right mind would leave a downed aircraft. But then we would not have a movie would we?
• Ottway explains that Burke is suffering from hypoxia: in fact hypoxia occurs in healthy people when they ascend to high altitudes (above 12,000’) but in this instance they not even above the tree line, the first visible indication of higher altitude.
• The plastic used for miniature bottles of alcoholic spirits does not shatter with jagged edges like a glass bottle would.

I don’t know why they bury an important piece of the plot in the end credits. But they do.

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