ARCTIC (director/writer: Joe Penna; screenwriter: Ryan Morrison; cinematographer: Tomas Orn Tomasson; editor: Ryan Morrison; music: Joseph Trapanese; cast: Mads Mikkelsen (Overgård), Maria Thelma Smaradottir (Young Woman); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Christopher Lemole, Tim Zajaros, Noah C. Haeussner; Bleecker Street; 2018-Iceland-in English)
“A pleasing survival tale with minimal dialogue.”Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz Debuting director Joe Penna deserves praise for writing and directing such a pleasing survival tale with minimal dialogue, as man goes against nature. Mads Mikkelsen is terrific as the likable crashed pilot trying to survive in the Arctic. Adjusting to the harsh conditions after being there for a while, he keeps busy by doing such things as fishing and sending out daily radio signals. A rescue helicopter crashes due to high winds. Thereby Overgård rescues the unconscious woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir) from the wreckage, and to save her must pull her on a sled to the nearest rescue station. It’s a tough journey over a beautiful landscape, filled with all sorts of unforeseen obstacles to keep us on edge. The highlight scene is a polar bear threatening the pair as they are sheltering inside a snowcave. We are left in the dark about the reasons for Overgård’s flight and learn little about him, we only see someone determined to survive. The flawless screenplay by Penna and Ryan Morrison is concerned only with the aspects of surviving such a disaster. That was enough to hold my attention.
REVIEWED ON 2/1/2019 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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