The Quake (Skjelvet) (2018) Review

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There’s Norway I’d go Oslo

The Quake (Skjelvet) (2018): 7 out of 10: Sequel to The Wave (Bølgen) Quake follows the same family as they try to get past the tragedy of The Wave even while a new threat is on the horizon.

The Good

The Good. The titular quake eventually shows up, and it is a dozy. While not as large in scope as say San Andreas, the set pieces are even better. Oslo’s destruction is both seeming realistic and visually spectacular. Also, large amounts of bonus points for the fantastic Norwegian scenery both rural (fjords baby) and urban (Oslo is gorgeous)

The Bad

The Bad: The characters are a bit off with the main character Christian having PTSD from the previous movie and being the worst dad and husband ever. Also, his overwhelmingly understanding wife has no agency of her own. She simply exists to be abused by Christian. Add on a new character of his professor friend’s daughter who is mourning the loss of her father (maybe) and goes above and beyond for a paranoid stranger she doesn’t know who claims she is friends with her father simply so the plot can have her in the film.

The way Christain cruelly rejects his daughter after she makes him breakfast and cleans the kitchen reminds me of kitten killer Alison Lohman in Drag me To Hell. There are some actions that it is almost impossible for your protagonists to come back from. Not that Christain has a redemptive arc here (Neither did Lohman, as I recall since I believe someone eventually dragged her to Hell). He seems as much a self-centered broken man at the end as he was in the beginning.

One problem, of course, is being able to predict an earthquake five minutes before it happens isn’t the same as say preventing an earthquake and the heroics involved are relatively minor.

The Ugly

The Ugly: For a guy who claims to be an earthquake expert, he seems to spend an awful lot of time in elevators and tunnels, Dude, seriously…. Have you watched The Towering Inferno?

In Conclusion

The Quake does a marvellous job setting up suspense and sacrifice. Still an unpleasant lead and less than believable supporting characters drag the film down when it is in neither tourist mode nor disaster mode.

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