Eight Below

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Jason Biggs
Director: Frank Marshall

A Walt Disney release, yes we all know that some of them are cheesy but one thing that they all share is their genuine harmless nature and generally good entertainment value and EIGHT BELOW is full of action and excitement. If you are a Disney fan you will know of the 1963 movie also dealing with the plight of abandoned animals called AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, but have no fear this movie is not a remake of that one it is actually a remake of a Japanese movie called ANTARCTICA.

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS’s Paul Walker plays a dedicated tracker/guide working in the Antarctica, ferrying scientists across the icy slopes with the aid of his eight trusty huskies. Just as he’s finishing one particularly risky job a furious snowstorm forces him and his team to evacuate their base, but due to lack of space on the plane, he has to leave his dogs behind with the intention of flying back later to pick them up. Unfortunately the storm increases in ferocity and has turned into a blizzard making it impossible for him to fly back for his dogs. Despite all his efforts to do so nobody is willing to take such a risk for a team of huskies. The dogs must now use their natural survival instincts to make it through the deadly Antarctica winter, with astonishing and heart breaking consequences.

Director Frank Marshall is an old hand at survival/adventure movies so he doesn’t miss a beat. He keeps the film focused on the core survival story of the dogs with just enough human interaction to keep it from being an all out animal movie. Paul Walker is in my opinion has yet to really flex his acting skills. Perhaps in his upcoming role in Clint Eastwood’s FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS he might surprise us all, but till then what we get is the same Paul Walker from INTO THE BLUE, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and TIMELINE. He is entertaining with many leading man qualities but he seems to just play himself. But hey he’s been in so many movies lately he must be doing something right. He is very believable in this film and actually love dogs in real life so it all feels very genuine.

EIGHT BELOW is a great inspirational family movie not to be missed.

4 out of 6 stars

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