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Eight Below Movie Review (7/10)

Posted on February 22nd, 2006 filed in Movie Reviews    |   

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In a research center in Antarctica, Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker – Into the Blue), and his eight highly trained sled dogs, embarks on a dangerous mission to assist scientist Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood -Capote) find and bring back a meteorite from planet Mercury. The mission proves successful despite an almost fatal accident in which the dogs tactfully and selflessly save the life of the scientist.

Once back, they are told they must evacuate at once as a horrendous storm is heading their way. There is no space for the dogs on the chopper and so, Jerry ties them up close to the base after being assured of the pilot returning coming back for them iin few hours . That fails to materialize however and the dogs end up stuck and tied up on their own, in the cold, harsh, stormy polar weather!

Eight Below, a thrilling adventure made by Disney, is supposedly inspired by a true story, and based on the Japanese movie “Nankyoku Monogatari” in which 7 of the 9 dogs perish.
Well I will not ruin the suspense, but I will tell you this, I was sitting at the edge of my seat for a most of the movie and my heart was with those dogs, who somehow communicated their emotions, despair and survival spirit through the big screen. I specially liked the unique personality of each dog, for example you will notice how the leader ‘Maya’ is more compassionate than others. You find the most amazing human characteristics displayed by these dogs such as loyalty, perseverance, and solidarity. They stick together through it all and it is specially heart warming how they mourn the loss of one of their own, and they bring food to their leader or the injured. It is amazing how you feel their sadness, by the expression of their eyes or moaning. You feel the reluctance of the dogs to leave the dead ones behind, and Maya’s almost shame to be injured. I left the theater wishing I owned my own Husky!
Paul Walker’s performance is very sincere; you feel his attachment and love to the dogs and you later on feel his agony, like a father who needs to know where his children are and bring them to safety. His athletic and tanned figure is perfect for his role as a nature lover guide.
The role of his friend Charlie Cooper -played by Jason Biggs (American Pie) – although not major, adds a little humor to the movie.
The movie is shot in Northern Canada and the scenery is breathtaking. You feel that you really do not want to be stranded in the middle of these vast lands only covered by snow and treacherous ice terrains everywhere. Sitting warmly in my theater seat, I still felt the cold across the screen. Although it seemed to me like it could be the Antarctica, many criticized that the sun does not rise in the Antartica’s winter while the movie was mainly shot in daylight. Still, I felt it was a good shooting location and the movie would not have been as enjoyable had it been dark throughout all the scenes.
Eight Below is a wonderful, two hour long, Walt Disney movie directed by Frank Marshall (also directed ‘Alive’) with the screen play written by Dave DiGilio. It is a movie for people of all ages and I highly recommend for all those who enjoy watching the National Geographic Channel or as a family movie.

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2 Responses to “Eight Below Movie Review (7/10)”

  1. Veronique Says:

    I am a major animal lover and I grew up in Alberta, Canada, where winters can be really white, really cold and really long… this movie really hit home for me….It is a sweet Disney movie, but with real animals (no they do not talk like in other Disney’s), the scenery, I agree is chilling yet breathtaking and the cast is attractive… I also highly recommend this movie

  2. Lorina Says:

    You are totally right….I went to see this movie with my 3 boys and parents and we all equally enjoyed it! I loved it, the scenery, the snow, the silent yet emotional ‘acting’ of the huskies, their devotion, it was all superb and quite touching….and just like yourself my boys left the theater wanting to get a husky as our new pet!!!! God help us, I heard they simply run North when set free????

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