10.5 (2004)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)

4.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Disaster Film, Drama, Weather
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Review by Chad
Added: September 12, 2004
There's some serious fault-line events happening on the west coast, resulting in a series of extremely violent earthquakes up and down the coast. They're so big, in fact, that they threaten to completely reshape the coast and force California off of the map. Here, we follow the lives and actions of a few different sets of people; there's Dr. Samantha Hill (Kim Delaney), a scientist dealing with earthquakes and things of that nature, who just so happens to realize what's going on and tries to warn her superiors. Dr. Jordan Fisher (David Cubitt), her boss, thinks that she's completely wrong in her theories and continues to shoot them down as nonsense. Meanwhile, there's Zach Nolan (Ivan Sergei) and Owen Hunter (Dule Hill), two doctors who have problems of their own, both professionally and personally. There's also another set of people here, showing California Governor Carla Williams (Rebecca Jenkins), her ex-husband Clark Williams (John Schneider) and their daughter Amanda Williams (Kaley Cuoco). Apparently, Clark didn't spend much time with Amanda after he divorced Carla, so now he's trying to make up lost time by taking her on a camping trip. After the first earthquake, U.S. President Paul Hollister (Beau Bridges) sets up a team of the best scientists in the field to find a solution to the problem, and appoints Roy Nolan (Fred Ward) as the leader of said team. Roy is the father of Zach, the doctor in the other sub-story, and they too have a pretty rocky relationship. So basically, we watch the events unfold through quite a few different perspectives, and we have a one-hundred-sixty minute movie.

So then, we have an interesting storyline, and the concept of showing it through multiple perspectives was pretty nice as well... too bad they completely fucked this movie up. The first problem, and by far the worst, was the way the camera was used throughout the filming. It's constantly doing a speedy zoom-in, panning-left, shaking, speedy zoom-out, panning-up, shake violently, two-simultaneous-scenes-in-a-split-screen-setup, panning-right, zoom-in... in every second of this almost three-hour movie, something is going on with the camera. It's as though the poor fellow operating it forgot to take his Ritalin, or else had never touched a camera before in his life. Regardless, I wouldn't hire this guy to film a children's birthday party, nonetheless a mainstream movie. The lesser of all that evil is the shaking bit, but even that is constant throughout the movie; it seems like the camera-man had never heard of a tripod and merely carried the camera around on his shoulder in every scene. Any sort of enjoyment that could have been had from this wretched movie was completely shot to hell due to all of that. I'm not even going to get into the scientific side of things here, as the whole storyline was laughable in that regard. I realize that movies usually tend to throw reality out a bit, but this one was just completely off the wall nonsense without a shred of fact to be found.

The cast here screws things up even more, with nary a good performance to be found. There's two so-so people here, those being Kim Delaney as Samantha and Fred Ward as Roy. While Kim Delaney is just average at her absolute best, Fred Ward is normally a pretty good actor; sadly enough though, he's given some of the lamest lines of all time here, and seems to be quite embarrassed to even be involved with this. Suppose it paid the bills, though. While both of them are at least watchable here, the rest of the cast was absolutely painful to watch. While I'm not going to go through and point out the faults of each one (don't feel like spending the next three hours typing), I will say this: if the actor or actress in question isn't horridly overacting, they're rushing through their lines with zero emotion, or being completely laughable during a serious scene, or being completely somber during a comedic-relief moment, or whatever particular brand of suck that person specializes in.

I wouldn't force this piece of schlock onto anyone, no matter how much I despised that person. Factor in that it's almost three hours of that nonsense, it's just completely unbearable. Avoid at all costs, 0/10.
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