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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Whiteout

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Kate Beckinsale stars in a scene from the movie "Whiteout."
Logic is among the casualties in the Antarctic murder mystery "Whiteout" (Warner Bros.).
 
Director Dominic Sena's often grisly adaptation of Greg Rucka's 1998 graphic novel follows the exploits of federal marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale). Burdened by a troubled past—about which we learn only gradually by way of flashbacks—Carrie has been posted to the U.S. base at the bottom of the world at her own request, partly as an escape, partly as a self-imposed penance.
 
Her work among the researchers there—whose idea of off-duty fun includes hard drinking and brief jaunts outside in the altogether—is entirely routine until a ravaged corpse inexplicably turns up on the frozen wastes in a spot far removed from any of the multinational facilities. An examination by Carrie's colleague, friend and—so the dialogue seems to imply—former lover, Dr. John Fury (Tom Skerritt), points to murder.
 
After the killer claims more victims, Carrie is joined in the hunt by self-identified U.N. official Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht). But his sudden appearance on the scene—not long after the murderer, his identity obscured by winter clothes and goggles, has been terrorizing Carrie with an ice pick—makes her suspicious.
 
Carrie's perplexity about whom to trust, all the more acute because of the experience that drove her to the South Pole in the first place, maintains the dramatic tension, and a couple of snow-blinded confrontations with the resourceful perp are reasonably suspenseful. But the incompetent climactic plot twist, which leaves any number of questions unanswered, makes for a lackluster final impression.
 
The film contains frequent gory images, a brief streaking scene with full male nudity, partial female shower nudity, suicide, a few uses of profanity, and occasional rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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