The Quake 八級大地震 命懸一劫 (2018) - Norwegian
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
The sequel to the hit disaster Norwegian 2016’s The Wave, is a clearly a bigger film with bigger budget to boot. Filmed with comparable Hollywood standards for blockbuster disaster film, think Independent Days and numerous others, the Norwegian is quick to cash in on the prequel success. What happens usually will be a lesser attempt, but Director John Andreas Andersen smartly spent most of the film focusing on character study, family issues, coming to terms with the aftermath of a previous disaster and the struggles of the protagonist own’s mental illness as well as those around him. Making “The Quake” a superior production not just in style, but execution as well and building a crescendo of emotions as the massive CGI earthquake unfolds in the town of Oslo.
Kristoffer Joner is casted perfectly as the protagonist of the film as he captures the character’s struggles with his own internal demons as well as the responsibility of his family after surviving a previous disaster. Joner carries the film with his steady fast and unpredictable nature as by the end of the film, we see a weathered father and husband that came though adversity of pursuing a red flag that nobody believed in. His face of disappointment and shock as his wife (captured excellently by Ane Dahl Torp) falls to her impending death during the disaster shows an infernal of emotions. Child actor Edith Haagenrud-Sande playing the determined daughter end up with the crucial role having to overcome one obstacle after another to survive.
All in all, “The Quake” is easily an international success story as it does not simply go the Hollywood route of CGI effects dominating the people of the film. What we get is a deep character study that allows the audience to connect and understand the anguish and frustrations of the characters and their situation. There is a multi dimensional arc about the film that makes it complicated enough for us to indulge in our deeper emotions as the disaster unfolds. The spectacle of the disaster is big and impressive, especially on a big screen. Given the success of “The Quake” and “The Wave”, I look forward to a deeper character study of how the family reacts in the aftermath of losing their mother in this episode.
I rated it 8/10