Last year, both “San Andreas” and “Everest” – two slick, competently made blockbusters featuring A-list actors – showed the Hollywood method of delivering disaster movies, which frankly, didn’t have much of the unexpected. However, fans of the genre may be curious to see what Norwegian director Roar Uthaug has up his sleeve in the upcoming “The Wave.” It’s a mighty-looking new disaster flick that played to a largely enthusiastic response at last year’s TIFF fest, and was also Norway’s official Oscar entry this year. And just a month and a half ahead of the film’s domestic release, a new trailer has arrived to give you a taste of Mother Nature’s fury unleashed.
The story of a geologist who must save his family from a 300-foot high tsunami that’s been triggered by a rockslide in the quiet village of Geiranger, “The Wave” looks to at least be a fun ride on the basis of its first trailer. Those who’ve seen the film have reported (mostly) good things: Peter Debruge’s review in Variety praised it as an “impressive tsunami peril thriller” while also noting that Uthaug’s film mostly sticks to conventional Hollywood storytelling techniques. The trailer itself is tense and involving without giving too much away, and I’m sure many viewers will be sold simply on the spectacle alone. We can only hope that the final result is more “The Poseidon Adventure” than Roland Emmerich. Here’s the official synopsis:
Nestled in Norway’s Sunnmøre region, Geiranger is one of the most spectacular tourist draws on the planet. With the mountain Åkerneset overlooking the village — and constantly threatening to collapse into the fjord — it is also a place where cataclysm could strike at any moment. After putting in several years at Geiranger’s warning center, geologist Kristian (Kristoffer Joner) is moving on to a prestigious gig with an oil company. But the very day he’s about to drive his family to their new life in the city, Kristian senses something isn’t right. The substrata are shifting. No one wants to believe that this could be the big one, especially with tourist season at its peak, but when that mountain begins to crumble, every soul in Geiranger has ten minutes to get to high ground before a tsunami hits, consuming everything in its path. Those ten minutes are some of the most nerve-rattling you’ll experience in any movie this year, but as The Wave continues the stakes only get higher. Ace director Roar Uthaug keeps things hurtling forward in a state of high anxiety until the very end. Giving Hollywood a run for its money, the film’s canvas is broad, its effects eerily realistic, and its scale immense. Here comes the flood.
“The Wave” opens on March 4th. Watch the trailer below.