8 June 2001 | Snow Leopard
Decent Suspense With An Interesting Setting
"Black Tide", also called "Stormy Crossing", is a decent mystery/suspense story with an interesting setting. While the story itself is fairly routine, the setting and some likeable characters make it worth watching.
The story takes place in Dover (England). As it begins, two swimmers are in training for an attempt to swim across the English Channel - Danny, an experienced swimmer trained by his brother Griff, and Kitty, a model and amateur swimmer, backed by a separate group. They decide to make their attempt together, but things go very wrong. Danny is convinced that what happened was no accident, and he tries to investigate despite the fact that no one else believes him.
The events that follow are not too surprising, and sometimes predictable, but the story keeps the viewer's interest once it gets going. It's a mostly plausible story, and it is helped by some other positive features.
The channel/seacoast setting is an interesting one that works well for this kind of story, and it is nicely done. You do feel as if you are there at the Channel, with the mist, the birds, and the current. There are also a couple pretty likeable characters: John Ireland is good as Griff, and Maureen Connell is good as the young hotel manager. Danny, though, is not a very good character - pretty much a stereotyped indignant, headstrong young man. Overall, the positives outweigh the weaknesses.
Most fans of mystery or suspense films should find this worth a look.