2 November 2007 | Siamois
There's something intriguing about disaster movies. The simple, primal premise can lead to several great stories. Granted, most disaster movies tend to explore familiar territory instead but I can usually live with that.
Unfortunately, Flood probably marks the low point in the history of this sub-genre. Robert Carlyle is undoubtedly the star of the movie, even though screen time is split between different locations and characters. He gives a barely decent performance. As well, Joanne Whalley is very uneven. Veteran actor Tom Courtenay (he played in Doctor Zhivago for heaven's sake) is particularly bad. I mean, his timing is completely off most of the time and his characterization is extremely poor. What an embarrassing performance for that man. The rest of the cast ranges from decent to really bad with one exception: Jessalyn Gilsig, whom I thought might be there as a plot device/eye candy gives by far the most convincing performance. Doesn't mean much considering how bad everybody else is but still nice to see that she cared.
The script is really bad, confusing and cliché. Some of the worse lines I have heard in quite some time are delivered by the actors one after the other.You've seen this story a thousand times. It employs every dramatic hook and tear-jerkers you've seen in "Outbreak", "Armageddon", the Poseidon movies (original and remake) and many others.
The direction is awful. No sense of timing, nothing inspired. The shots are bland, dialog and action both fail to flow. Editing is bad but how do you edit such a mess? Without a doubt, this movie tried to rely way too much on (rather poor) CGI. The human factor, the drama and struggles of the characters are glossed over. Scenes where the characters must actually face the flood are rare and poorly done. The made-for-TV feel gives nausea. Some guy is supposed to go down a rope from an helicopter? No problem, let's show him inside a helicopter and make a really poor cut/editing job and have the next frame with him safely on the ground, in the most obvious way possible.
The movie score is rather poor. All over the place, no timing.
The ending is probably the worse I have seen in quite some time. Very much like they ran out of ideas. Scrap that, you can't run out of something if you never had it in the first place. Must have ran out of budget.
This is a really amateur job. I give it a 2 for using London as a location, which is a nice change, for Gilsig being actually decent in a key support role and for the few CGI shots that were decent (those of the water closing in on London and the gates).
Do yourself a favor and check out Day After Tomorrow or just about any disaster movie before this one. This includes older classics like The Towering Inferno.