Whiteout (2009 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Whiteout
Whiteout poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dominic Sena
Stuart Baird (uncredited reshoots)
Len Wiseman (uncredited reshoots)
Produced by Joel Silver
Susan Downey
David Gambino
Screenplay by Jon and Erich Hoeber
Chad Hayes
Carey Hayes
Based on Whiteout by
Greg Rucka
Steve Lieber
Starring Kate Beckinsale
Tom Skerritt
Columbus Short
Gabriel Macht
Music by John Frizzell
Cinematography Christopher Soos
Editing by Martin Hunter
Stuart Baird
Studio Dark Castle Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • September 11, 2009 (2009-09-11) (Canada and United States)
  • October 21, 2009 (2009-10-21) (France)
[1]
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
France
Canada
Language English
Russian
Budget $35 million[2]
Box office $17,840,867[3]

Whiteout is a 2009 thriller film based on the 1998 comic book of the same name by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Directed by Dominic Sena, with uncredited reshoots by Stuart Baird and Len Wiseman, it stars Kate Beckinsale, Tom Skerritt, Gabriel Macht and Alex O'Loughlin in the lead roles. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. and released on September 11, 2009.[4] It was produced under the banner of Dark Castle Entertainment by Joel Silver, Susan Downey and David Gambino.

Plot[edit]

The movie opens in 1957, inside a Russian cargo plane flying above Antarctica. In the cargo hold, three Russians sit with a padlocked box. The co-pilot launches a gun fight that soon leads to the plane crashing and the death of all aboard.

In modern times, newcomers arrive at the United States' Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, while others who are scheduled to leave are preparing to do so early because of a storm. They must depart before the onset of winter or remain for six months. Deputy U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) has been working in Antarctica for two years, since a betrayal by her partner in Miami that killed him and nearly killed her. She plans to retire after returning to the United States in two days.

Stetko, her friend Doc (Tom Skerritt), and pilot Delfy (Columbus Short) fly to the remote Haworth Mesa to retrieve a discovered body. The dead man is Anton Weiss, one of a group of three scientists looking for meteorites. An autopsy finds evidence of murder by axe. A murder requires a federal investigation; Stetko considers sending the body to McMurdo Station to avoid spending another winter in Antarctica, but decides to continue the investigation. When Stetko goes to speak to one of the others at Vostok Station, she finds him dying from a neck wound and is herself attacked by a black-clad man with an axe. Stetko injures her hands in escaping, losing the wet skin of her fingers on the metal handle of a door. Later, she finds Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht), a United Nations security agent, examining the body of the second scientist. They conclude that the third, who is missing, must be the killer and set out to explore the group’s most recent research site. There, Stetko falls through the ice to find the old Russian cargo plane. Pryce and Delfy join her to investigate, and they realize that the locked box had been opened and six cylinders removed. Pryce reveals that it is possible that nuclear fuel of interest to arms traffickers may be in the cylinders.

After nearly being trapped by a cave-in at the plane, Stetko must have her badly frostbitten fingers amputated by Doc. She then finds the missing scientist hiding in her office. He tells her that he and his two companions found the plane and took the canisters, but the killer has them now. Before Stetko can protect him he is killed, but Carrie captures his killer who is revealed to be Australian biologist Russell Haden (Alex O'Loughlin). The base commander orders everyone to evacuate because of the murders. With Haden locked in the brig and the winter storm near, Stetko and Pryce search for the canisters. Haden, however, escapes as the storm, a "whiteout", hits. Able to navigate through the blinding snow only by the system of security ropes, Pryce and Stetko pursue Haden. As Haden is about to kill her, Pryce cuts Haden's rope, sending him to death in the storm. At the base, Stetko and Pryce open the bag Haden had been carrying to find that the missing canisters contain only jelly beans.

Stetko checks the last departing plane's cargo manifest and learns that the bodies of the dead scientists were not aboard. She searches their body bags and notices that the stitching on Weiss's old wound matches the distinctive pattern on her amputated fingers. Stetko explores the body and finds several bags of large, uncut diamonds. Doc confesses that he was part of a diamond smuggling ring with the others before Haden killed the rest. He had hoped that the diamonds would make him wealthy outside Antarctica. When Doc tells Stetko he wants to see the aurora australis one last time, she allows him to walk outside to his death.

Six months later, Stetko, Pryce, and Delfy have wintered at the facility. She transmits an email to her superior, rescinding her previous resignation and asking for a warmer location for her assignment.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In November 1999, Columbia Pictures acquired feature film rights to the comic book Whiteout by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber.[9] An adapted screenplay for the film was written by Jon and Erich Hoeber.[10] The script was written to have a male character star opposite the female lead, since the studio was hesitant on how large of a film audience that the original setup of two female leads would draw.[9] By November 2002, the studio placed the project on turnaround after a lack of production, and the rights were acquired by Universal Studios. The studio cast Reese Witherspoon to star in Whiteout, which would be based on the screenplay written by the Hoebers.[10] By May 2004, a second draft of the script had been written, and a director was still being sought.[11] Ultimately, rights over the film changed ownership, detaching Witherspoon from the project.[12]

In October 2006, Whiteout entered development at Dark Castle Entertainment with production slated to begin in the coming winter for a release date in the first quarter of 2008.[13] Dominic Sena, a fan of the graphic novel since its '98 debut, had sought to acquire the rights to direct a film adaptation, and when rights were acquired by Dark Castle, Sena petitioned to producer Joel Silver, president of the company, for the opportunity to direct Whiteout.[14] In February 2007, with Warner Bros. signed on to distribute Whiteout, Sena was hired to direct the film, based on the adapted screenplay by the Hoebers. In the same month, Beckinsale was cast in the lead role.[5] Production began on March 5, 2007 in Manitoba, with later footage being shot in Montreal.[15] A set was also constructed on the shore of Lake Winnipeg.[16] The film was primarily set in a bright world of ice and sunlight, an unconventional approach to the murder mystery genre. Both real and fake snow were used in production. The author of the graphic novel, Greg Rucka, applauded the film adaptation of his source material. Filming concluded a few weeks before Comic-Con in July 2007.[6]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film was panned by critics. AOL.com's Moviefone staff rated it as the 8th worst movie of 2009.[17] Based on 105 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Whiteout has a 'rotten' 7% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 3.5/10.[18] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 28, based on 19 reviews.[19] Richard Roeper gave the movie 2 stars in the Chicago Sun Times calling it a "formulaic thriller that is ultimately no less predictable or interesting simply because it is set in the coldest and most isolated place on Earth."[20] Online critics at Zap2it claim, "The film moves like frozen molasses, letting the audience get out ahead of the narrative developments at every turn."[21]

Box office[edit]

The film was released to U.S. theaters on September 11, 2009. It was a box office bomb. The film continued to have major decreases in ticket sales, and has a gross of $10,275,638 to date.[22] It has grossed only $7,565,229 internationally to date bringing the total return to just $17,840,867 from a budget of $35 million.

Release[edit]

The theatrical release was on September 11, 2009. The film was released on DVD[23] and Blu-ray Disc on January 19, 2010.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Whiteout – released". AlloCiné. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tyler Perry: The brand that keeps on delivering". Los Angeles Times. 2009-09-13. 
  3. ^ "Whiteout (2009) Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Whiteout Now Happens in September". ShockTillYouDrop.com (Coming Soon Media, L.P.). October 29, 2008. Retrieved Novemnber 22, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (February 7, 2007). "Sena to direct 'Whiteout'". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Rotten, Ryan (July 27, 2007). "Comic-Con '07: Warner Bros. Preview". ShockTillYouDrop.com (Coming Soon Media, L.P). Retrieved July 30, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana; Borys Kit (March 19, 2007). "Duo warm up for Silver's 'Whiteout'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  8. ^ McClintock, Pamela (March 14, 2007). "Macht lights on 'Whiteout'". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Weiland, Jonah (November 5, 2002). "WITHERSPOON AND UNIVERSAL ICE 'WHITEOUT'". Comic Book Resources (Boiling Points Production). Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b Bing, Jonathan (November 4, 2002). "U picks up snow job pic". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Jericho; Matt Brady (May 4, 2004). "BRU, COOKE, RUCKA: WRAPPING UP WONDERCON COVERAGE". Newsarama (Imaginova). Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  12. ^ Weiland, Jonah (February 23, 2007). "NYCC, Day 1: Whiteout Returns! Rucka & Lieber Talk". Comic Book Resources (Boiling Point Productions). Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  13. ^ Goldsmith, Jill; Pamela McClintock (October 15, 2006). "Silver slots solo slate". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  14. ^ Moro, Eric; Scott Collura (July 28, 2007). "SDCC 07: Exclusive: Whiteout Helmer Chat". IGN. Retrieved July 30, 2007. 
  15. ^ Moro, Eric (March 3, 2007). "WonderCon 07: Whiteout, Haunted Hill". IGN. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  16. ^ Murray, Rebecca (April 3, 2007). "Producer Joel Silver Talks "Speed Racer" and "Whiteout"". About.com. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  17. ^ Furlong, Maggie; Moviefone Staff (23 December 2009). "The 10 Worst Movies of 2009". Moviefone. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  18. ^ "Whiteout review". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "Metacritic review page". Metacritic. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Roeper's White Out review". Sun Times. Retrieved 11 September 2009. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Zap2it's White Out review". Zap2it. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  22. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=whiteout.htm
  23. ^ "Exclusive Clip From the Whiteout Blu-ray". 
  24. ^ "Early Whiteout DVD and Blu-ray Details". 

External links[edit]