Starring: Robert Carlyle, Jessalyn Gilsig, Tom Courtenay, Joanne Whalley
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed By: Tony Mitchell
Written By: Justin Bodle & Matthew Cope
Flood seems to be the British version of a disaster movie. Lately we have seen movies such as The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and to an extent Twister set themes of destruction to our screens, all as well have failed to live up to their giant budgets and huge use of special effects. Like I said Flood is the British version of these sorts of films but unfortunately it is placed back in the Hollywood category as it is full of special effects and fails to really add anything new to what we have already seen.
The title of the film makes it obvious what it is about. It begins with a storm surge wiping out a small town called Wick in the North of Scotland. The Met Office begin to investigate this event and a local professor, Leonard Morrison (Courtenay), discovers that the storm is heading South and will hit the Thames Barrier at the same time as high tide, causing mass volumes of water to flood into central London. The Deputy Prime Minister must come to a decision of how to act and is helped by the evacuation leader who is more concerned about the safety of her children then her job to protect the millions that inhabit London. Robert Carlyle plays Leonard's son Rob, who is an engineer on the Thames Barrier and manages to escape from it with his ex-wife Sam (Gilsig) moments after the storm hits, leaving them both to swim through London in search of safety. On their journey they come across other survivors who are in search for safety in the London Underground. As the Government attempt to purge the water from the capital, they must decide whether or not it is worth risking millions more lives in order to do so.
Like I said the film is nothing original and it is something we have all seen before in the Hollywood films just with different landmarks being destroyed. The characters in the film never really seem bothered by the fact that London is being hit with gallons and gallons of water, and there is little urgency in the attempt to rescue it. What we have are characters who are being read aloud from a script, and ones that would never act in the way they do in the film. The acting in it is very poor and people expect better from a man who once played a Bond villain. Carlyle brings nothing to the role despite his high profile, and if anything seems to be uninterested in his role. Makes you wonder why he even signed up for it in the first place. Tom Courtenay however is even worse. He talks ridiculously slow for no reason what so ever and his sudden flush of knowledge is really unrealistic. The only one good bit of acting comes from a man who is sweeping Hollywood at the minute, Tom Hardy. Here he has a very small role but manages to steal the show in the small number of scenes he appears in. He shows just why he is such a sought after actor at present.
From what I have read this film is also a miniseries that is fleshed out for that sake and cut in order to gain a minimal theatrical release. This is very noticeable as you watch the film as several scenes seem cut short and lack any tension. One scene, which sees a group rushing through a pipe as it fills with water, is cut short when it could have given us some high tension as many of the main actors were in that pipe. Many of the action scenes were cut short and most of the talking scenes discussing why the storm is hit are far too long. The pacing of the film is all over the place and that can only be down to the writing.
The characters seem to have back stories attempting to break through but none of them ever really do. Again this could be because of the fact that it is really a miniseries that has been pushed together. If the characters were fleshed out more then they may have more connection with the audience. The camera work and direction of the film is also very television like and isn't suitable for a film, which again makes you wonder why it was ever considered for a cinematic release.
The film is poor but I did started off enjoying it and slowly lost interest half way through. A fleshed out miniseries would have really worked for this as it is interesting seeing London engulfed in water, and as to how we would react. As a film this did not work despite the strong cast, the interesting idea, and the special effects, which at times are the only good thing in this film. At least something good came out of it and that is the brilliant Tom Hardy's flourishing career.
1.5 / 5
Next film to review: THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS