From time to time I do enjoy a good man against nature survival film. In previews this kind of looked like All is Lost with Robert Redford but not at sea. Add in a very wonderful Mads Mikkelson and you’ve got a potentially good film. I liked Arctic for the most part but it doesn’t really substantiate itself or differentiate itself from films of a similar theme. Which was unfortunate.
The film is about a man whose place has crashed in the Arctic and his attempt for survival against the fierce weather in the Arctic. One day a helicopter finds him but the winds causes the helicopter to crash, killing the pilot and injuring the passenger. Now caring for that passenger, the man must try to go on a dangerous trek in the hopes of finding rescue for him and the injured woman.
As with All is Lost, the film is super sparse on dialogue. Don’t go in expecting a masterclass in screenplay, its a very simple cut and dry survival film. Mads is really good in it and attuned to the performance. I believe he stated that this shoot in Iceland was extremely difficult for him, which comes as no surprise. The film will drag in times because you have to be fully engulfed in the tale of survival and what the characters experience around them.
Still there’s positives to take from this I just wanted something that could present a real emotional and physical journey. For some this will be present but for me this film doesn’t really set itself apart in the survival genre. Its still by all means a really good debut from filmmaker Joe Penna. Side note, I saw this in freezing NYC weather which really set the mood for this arctic drama.