White Squall

"Good"

White Squall Review


You have to respect any movie with enough guts to use the word "squall" in its title. Brought to us by stellar director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise), and pitched as "Dead Poets Society on a boat," White Squall ends up as a passable film, but won't being going down as one of the director's best productions, much less an equal to Poets.

White Squall is the true story of the Albatross, a ship carrying 13 boys as students of the Ocean Academy, a school-at-sea on which Christopher Sheldon (Jeff Bridges) is the captain. Setting sail in 1960 for a year-long voyage "half way around the world and back," the boys learn about discipline, facing ones fears, the joys of Danish schoolgirls, alcohol, venereal disease, and they occasionally even find some time to study.

In a completely unexpected turn of events (never mind the TV commercials) near the end of the tour, the ship encounters a mythical "white squall" (basically a mini-hurricane) and capsizes. (I won't spoil the ensuing aftermath like every other review you'll read.)

White Squall is really hard to get in to, and it's even harder to like. For a full hour, the ship is docked, and we explore the coming-of-age of these kids who are just absolutely hideous: there's the fighting, taunting, vomiting, dolphin-killing, pants-wetting, and toilet-exploding that makes the film seem like it should have starred ex-Saturday Night Live cast members. (As it is, the 13 boys are almost exactly alike with the exception of 1 or 2 with actual personalities.) And it's not just gross, it's predictable and over-simplistic.

This is all bad, yes, but believe me, you'll forget all about it when The Big Storm hits and the film reaches its watery climax. Scott really jumps into the film here, regaining his old sense of suspense, constructing an intricate and visually stunning sequence of events that lead to the gripping climax: the sinking of the Albatross. These are probably the best action scenes ever filmed on water, and they fully redeem the film for its earlier failures.

While the denouement is basically another bummer of a letdown, you'll still be coming off that adrenaline rush from the "squall scenes." Extra points if you even remember the ending after you leave... or any of the rest of the film, for that matter.



White Squall

Facts and Figures

Run time: 129 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd February 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $10.3M

Budget: $38M

Production compaines: Hollywood Pictures, Largo Entertainment, Scott Free Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Captain Christopher 'Skipper' Sheldon, as Dr. Alice Sheldon, as McCrea, Albatross Crewman, as Charles 'Chuck' Gieg, as Frank Beaumont, as Gil Martin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.