BLU-RAY REVIEW: Tidal Wave
South Korea gets in the disaster movie game in a BIG wave...I mean way...
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I've never been much of a fan of foreign dramas. If it's a sci-fi film or a martial arts film, I'll give it a try, but regular old films from other countries don't really impress me that much...
However, after watching the South Korean disaster film Tidal Wave on Blu-ray, I have to say I may be reconsidering my position.
Director Jk Youn brings to life in a BIG way - or should I say "wave" - South Korea's biggest feature film to date (costing around $11 million to make) and makes a film that's entertaining, exciting and fun. While I have to say the story is (like disaster films here in America) fairly shallow, the overall film - thanks to some entertaining effects and decent characters - a decent way to spend 2 hours.
The story follows a number of characters who are - and will be - affected by a tsunami. Unlike many American disaster films, Tidal Wave actually allows us to get to know many of the characters affected by the wrath of this monstrous wave and, while sometimes we're probably better off not knowing the characters (or else we cheer when they die!), this opportunity to truly realize the humanity and imperfections in the characters makes the film slightly more believable.
Sadly, much of the believability is taken away due to some downright sad special effects. Granted, in America we're used to watching big-budget movies like 2012 and Armageddon and we've been spoiled by these top-dollar movies with their top-notch CGI. Considering the entire budget for Tidal Wave was $11 mission, they do great with what they've got.
It's not enough to keep the suspension of disbelief going when a terribly-rendered CGI wave which doesn't look at all real crosses the screen, but it tries. Granted, there are some great moments which will make viewers say "holy $#!&, did that just happen?!?", but overall, the film's effects take away from the suspense and create a "ha ha, that's hilarious!" reactions instead.
Overall, Tidal Wave is fun. It might not be the big-time blockbuster in the USA that it tried to be in South Korea, but - again - it tries hard with what it's got.
If you're a fan of disaster movies and are looking for a fun way to spend 2 hours, give Tidal Wave a try. The differences from American-made disaster movies will become apparent almost immediately and, while that's not necessarily a good thing, it's at least interesting and informative to watch.
Tidal Wave is rated R for some disaster images and language and is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley