Friday, August 21, 2009

White Squall (1996)

I've always felt I liked this movie. But I'd only ever seen the last third (on a cable channel in Belize back in '97) so I suppose that is a bit like saying you like Saving Private Ryan when you've only seen the first 20 minutes. Or Titanic from the iceberg strike onwards...

So, now I've seen the whole thing and I still think I like it, but with one or two pangs of viewer's remorse. For just about every enjoyable aspect of White Squall has a flipside that is just a touch vomitous.

Take Ridley Scott's visual style for example. He delivers some stunning vistas and jaw-dropping cinematographic drama, but he also over-extends his use of his signature filters — to the extent that V ended up fiddling with the controls for the backlight of our LCD TV.

This is a first rate boy's-own adventure, but it's also a tale which misses every chance to be anything other than casually dismissive about the role of women in the the same time it trots out a load of retrograde tosh about male character building.

And if I were the kind of person who professes to detect the hidden tropes of fascism in all the nooks and crannies of our culture, this is one movie which would probably trigger my phobia.

But if there's ever been a truly bad Jeff Bridges movie I can't remember it. Last night I re-watched Iron Man just so V could see the great man's latest piece of work!

Grade: B(+)

1 comment:

Mark said...

"...casually dismissive about the role of women in the world..."

Who opposes women pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen? Whoever it is should get a stern talking-to.