Adrift Blu-ray Review

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Shailene Woodley does All is Lost

by Casimir Harlow Nov 4, 2018 at 10:40 AM

  • Movies review


    Adrift Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £14.99

    Adrift Film Review

    Shailene Woodley retreads Robert Redford's storm-wrecked All is Lost, enjoying a bit of Gravity-esque drama in the latest from Everest director, Baltasar Kormakur.

    As with Everest, Kormakur's latest survival drama plots out another real-life, ill-fated expedition - here with two kindred spirits; a couple who undertake an impossible 4000 mile journey across the Pacific Ocean and get on the wrong side of an angry hurricane.

    The story unravels from the point of the storm subsiding, back peddling in non-linear fashion to fill in the gaps of how they met, the burgeoning relationship between them, and the events that led to the storm they faced together, all the while inter-spliced with the torturous time after sifting through the wreckage as they desperately try to drift back to land thousands of miles away.

    One of the best performances from Shailene Woodley since her days opposite Clooney in The Descendants.

    It's an efficient, effective tale, bolstered by one of the best performances from Shailene Woodley since her days opposite Clooney in The Descendants (the impressive ensemble TV drama Big Little Lies, notwithstanding). She drives the piece, with Hunger Games stalwart Sam Claflin on fine form in support, but really leaving the heavy lifting for Woodley, both in physical and psychological terms. It's not a perfect performance, constricted by predestined narrative contrivances which worked well in Gravity (after watching both it's easier to appreciate the striking similarity between the shared conceits), but it's a long way from her days in the increasingly inane Divergent series.

    The film too is similarly not perfect, and once you look beneath the surface you realise that the non-linear style is a veiled attempt at covering up the relatively flimsy story, which likely would not sustain an entire movie if told right from the events of the storm. Compare this to, for example, Redford's underrated All is Lost, and you can see that there is clearly something lacking here, with some relatively effective - but nonetheless slightly 'lite' relationship filler, designed to achieve the necessary runtime. That said, it's still effective, drawing you into the plight of this pair for the duration.

    Both this and Kormakur's earlier Everest are tough endurance tales that chart real-life stories of survival - or not, as the case may be - against all odds, and both are similarly constrained by the true stories they are built upon. In some ways Everest could have done with going full Cliffhanger when it came to its tales of mountain rescue, and similarly Adrift probably should have gone full Gravity too.

    Adrift Blu-ray Picture

    Adrift Adrift Blu-ray Picture
    Adrift enjoys a stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation, framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. The modern production benefits from some stunning open landscapes; infinite horizons, revelling in the gorgeous bright blue skies reflected into the bottomless deep blue seas.

    An excellent presentation, demo and reference through and through.

    Clarity is excellent, with painful injury detail, strong focus on close-ups and the increasingly weathered visages (notwithstanding the non-linear format) lapping up every additional day of dehydration and sunburn, which is firmly juxtaposed with the gorgeous tanned bodies that dominate the flashbacks. The yacht shows equally impressive signs of weathering and distress, torn down from its luxurious starting position when hit by the hurricane. A minor period piece, in that it was set in the 80s, there is a certain style to the production, which favours a few light teal and amber hues, but only slightly, otherwise overwhelmingly dominated by some gorgeous tones for the beautiful seas that provide the mainstay backdrop. It's an excellent presentation, demo and reference through and through.

    Adrift Blu-ray Sound

    Adrift Adrift Blu-ray Sound
    The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track drums up a storm with some superior surround work, and the incessant pounding of the infinite ocean. It's an engaging, immersive track that brings life to this survival drama.

    An engaging, immersive track.

    Dialogue remains firmly prioritised across the frontal array, delivered clearly and coherently throughout, whilst effects enjoy the highs of the flashbacks - jumping off cliffs, racing yachts, wandering the bustling streets - before enduring the stormy crashes, bashes and desperate survival measures. Surround usage is dynamic and exciting, throwing you into the maelstrom at its height, but also leaving you lost at sea for the duration, with a strong enough score working the background to further round out the excellent track.

    Adrift Blu-ray Extras

    Adrift Adrift Blu-ray Extras
    The disc contains an Audio Commentary, some Deleted Scenes and some Featurettes.

    Adrift Blu-ray Verdict

    Adrift Adrift Blu-ray Verdict
    A strong package for fans of the film to pick up.

    Adrift unravels an effective, efficient tale of crisis at sea, delivering a great lead performance from Shailene Woodley. The UK Blu-ray release affords excellent video and audio as well as a few decent extras, leaving this a strong package for fans of the film to pick up.

    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99

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