J.B. Rockwell, author of Serengeti (loved it!), Dark and Stars (loved it, too!), and Hecate (haven’t read it yet), sacrifices brain cells for Sci-Fi & Scary every month for what she calls Bad Movie Recap & Review time. I wait eagerly for her to make her movie selection, wondering what awesomely bad movie is going to be subjected to her blistering review. As soon as I receive it, half the time I’m reading it on my phone because I don’t want to wait to get home and read it on the computer screen.
Visit JB at: www.jenniferbrockwell.com
Antarctic Booty Ahoy!
By J.B. Rockwell
So. Whiteout. You’ve probably never heard of this movie, and neither had I until recently. To be honest, the only reason I even found it is thanks to a Netflix random recommendation and the fact that my husband spied Kate Beckinsale on the poster and said ‘Yes, please!’
Now, if I was smart, I would’ve done some research before I agreed to subject my brainpan and eyeballs to this trashdump of a film. But, I’m not, and so here I am writing a review on it, a movie no one—seriously, no one—should ever, ever see.
So, right about now you’re thinking, “But it’s got Kate Beckinsale’s luscious, luscious figure, how bad could it really be?’”
Answer: Bad. Really bad. Atrociously bad. Tickling on as bad as that turd burger Anaconda 3 I reviewed a few months ago.
Except this one actually cost money. Anaconda 3 has an excuse for being bad: the entire budget cost less than a Happy Meal. But Whiteout? $35 million. That’s right, some pretty amazing salesman convinced an extremely gullible producer and production company to sink the annual operating budget of Navy frigate* based solely on the fact that Kate Beckinsale’s well-groomed, well-liked posterior would play a prominent role. Well bravo, salesman, dude. You helped usher one of the worst box office flops I’ve had the displeasure of viewing into the world and I am both dumber and queasier for having viewed it.
Normally, I’d have a lot more front matter to usher in my review—some discussion of the actor, or the genre, maybe the impact this movie had other later films—but the sheer badness of this movie says everything, so I’m just going to move on.
U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko tracks a killer in Antarctica, as the sun is about to set for six months.
See that? Short, simple, doesn’t sound too bad. Unfortunately, it is. It so is…
Kate Beckinsale (AKA, Selene from the Underworld series) as Carrie Stetko: a U.S. Marshall assigned to a research station in Antarctica (yes, you read that right, and no it doesn’t make sense to me either), mixes pistols and nipples with equal abandon.
Tom Skerritt (Best known playing Captain Dallas in the original Alien) as Dr. John Fury (not to be confused with nick Fury): an aging physician and champion whipstitcher on the verge of retirement and fill-in daddy figure for the sexy-times Stetko, US Marshall.
Gabriel Macht (Best known for… Suits, maybe? I‘ve honestly never watched anything else this guy appeared in) as Robert Pryce: a UN agent dispatched by the.. UN to investigate the first-ever murders in Antarctica. Yes, that doesn’t make sense either. I’m not even sure the UN has murder-investigating agents to dispatch to Antarctica.
Alex O’Loughlin (Best known for… well, apparently he’s in the new Hawaii Five-O series, which I probably would know if it wasn’t crap and I bothered to watch it)) as Russell Haden: Token dudebro. Also Australian and turns out to be a bad-bad kangaroo.
Columbus Short (Best known for…*frantically searches internet* Scandal! Yes, yes, he was that…guy…in Scandal) as Delfy: a pilot. Helps pick up and deliver dead bodies, ends up getting stabbed because, plot.
Budget & Box Office Info:
- Release Date: 11 September 2009
- Budget: $35M
- Box Office Sales: $12M Worldwide. Ouch…
Sequels & Crossovers:
Based on the comic book Whiteout by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Poor guys were probably all excited when they sold the film rights. Unfortunately, I doubt they were excited about the end result. As a matter of fact, one of the authors had this to say after viewing the finished film: “Comic Carrie and One Act Play Carrie would shake Movie Carrie down behind the bleachers, laugh her out of the You Share Our Name Club, and send her limping and mewling home to mother. And they wouldn’t feel a moment’s regret about doing it, either.”
Ouch again. I feel for you, buddy. I really do.
As you can imagine, the Whiteout universe pretty much stopped there. After the film… nothing. Nada. Absolute wasteland. This film was such a flop (to gauge just how bad, it earned itself a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) that I’m pretty sure they went back to Antarctica and hid the original footage in a glacier. Probably in the vicinity of that 50-year-old, somehow not frozen vodka.
The Story (in a Nutshell):
U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is three days from the end of her tour at a research station in Antarctica and planning to resign because, flashbacks, bad things from her past, lame reason, whatever. As luck would have it, the continent’s first winter storm arrives with a body discovered way out in the middle of nowhere. She investigates, finds more bodies, and must find a motive and a murderer before the storm and her departure arrive. Queue the entry of UN agent Robert Pryce to help her, and a rogue’s gallery of supporting (and not-quite-interesting characters), including an aging physician about to retire, a nervous mission chief, a pilot, an nudist Australian, and a downed Soviet plane.
Oh, and the storm. Can’t forget that.
With bad things a brewing and the weather closing in, Stetko struggles to trust Pryce, and wonders if she still has what it takes to get the job done.
In 1957 a Russian cargo plane is flying above Antarctica with three mostly-drunken crew keeping a padlocked box company in the back. Enter the co-pilot who inexplicably shoots them and, in the chaos that ensures, manages to get the pilot shot, causing the plane to crash and kill everyone on board.
No idea what the guy thought would happen when he opened fire on a bunch of drunk, armed Russian dudes, but dead pilot + crashy plane seems pretty obvious to me. Oh, and we also get a not-so-subtle close-up of a double-rattly lock on a cargo bin to clue us in that, ya know, comrades are carryin’ some important and/or possibly bad shit.
Cut from the downed plane to modern times, and another, smaller Americanski type plane landing at the Amundsen-Scott US Scientific Research Facility set in beautiful downtown Antarctica, where most of the crew are preparing to leave before a big storm rolls and traps them for six months. Deputy U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) has been working in Antarctica for two years, since a betrayal by her partner in Miami that killed him and nearly killed her. She plans to retire after returning to the United States in two days.
Note: the whole partner, betrayal thing pops up throughout the movie in a series of horrid flashbacks (seriously, terrible, like watching snippets of a daytime soap opera bad) and feels like something that was added post-production to pad the movie out to something approaching an acceptable motion picture length. It adds nothing, nothing to the film and made me stabby and throw things at the TV.
The Rest of It:
Right. The rest of it… Let me just say that the rest of it doesn’t get any better. Like a gigantic dung ball, this thing really gets rolling, moving inevitably downhill, picking up more shit along the way.
But I digress.
Apparently, it’s Spring Break at Research Station South Pole because a whole bunch of bare-ass naked idiots are running around in the snow with their wedding vegetables hanging out. Unimpressed, staunch, US Marshal-type Stetko deplanes and marches into the station, sweeps by the buskers hanging luau decorations for the station’s farewell to snow party, and enters her surprisingly well-appointed frozen station quarters where she promptly decides to get naked.
Pronto. Immediately. Post-haste, as it were. Yup, 8 minutes into the movie and Katey-Poo’s already naked and showing off her admittedly well-proportioned goodies for the fans. I mention that for any guys (or gals, honestly) reading this so they can just fast-forward the fluff at the beginning and just get to the ta-tas and moneymaker.
Having gifted you that, I should also pause here and mentioned a few things:
- Through the power of bad editing and worse camera angles, we very clearly see Marshal Muffy’s wearing heels—IN THE FREAKING SOUTH POLE—while getting naked and romping around in her undies.
- To emphasize that she’s getting naked and is in her undies, she bends over and sticks her sweet-sweet ass in the camera (which makes me wonder if they originally planned a 3D version of this movie) while turning on the shower
- During said shower, which is both steamy and naked, Miss Muffet spends the entire time twisting and turning and sudsing, all while balanced delicately on her tiptoes. Because, yeah, that’s how girls shower. On their tiptoes. With their boobs and booty pushed out.
Are you getting a sense for this movie? I mean, yeah, I know the whole point of a Kate Beckinsale movie is for her to get naked but all this Penthouse forum bendy-posing is both laughable and ridiculous. Sure, my husband still ogled—who wouldn’t?—but even he just about fell over laughing at the ludicrousness of the set-up and execution of this scene.
Okay, I’m digressing again. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
At peak steaminess, the tiptoes shower scene is interrupted by the entrance of old guy Doc McStuffins (who looks amazingly good for having been chomped by an alien 30-odd years ago), who steals her Ramens and sticks around long enough to ham-fistedly enter the whole ‘she’s leaving in 3 days’ idea to try to steer this smut film toward a premise.
For the next 10 minutes, we follow Lacy Underalls around the station to expedite introduction of all the other major and minor characters. This includes being subjected to an overlong and (again) ham-fisted scene where Doc schools some newbies in the badness of Antarctic cold. By stripping them out of their parkas, of course. Because that’s the smart thing to do, stick people outside with no jackets and subject them to both frostbite and hypothermia to make a point.
Way to go, Doc. You’ve made the AMA proud.
I zoned out for the first time somewhere in the middle of this, blinked a few times and realized something had happened (or not) to prompt Doc and Marshall Muffy to mount up with pilot Delfy and take off in a plane to… go…somewhere. To do…something. No idea what. Not one. Honestly, I’d already lost interest at this point, but my husband kept hoping for more Beckin-booty, so on the movie went.
Flying, flying, flying and we land on some snow. Oh shit, they’ve found a body. Looks all frozen up and corpsified, kinda bloody and mangled. Still got it’s ID, though, which is convenient. So polite of dead guy to help them out like that. Oh, also, Doc and Muffy know dead guy because he’s some kind of scientist type (geologist, I think). He’s got a big old gash on his leg somebody stitched up, so I’m guessing that’ll be important later, and apparently he died because someone hacked on him with an axe.
Probably a polar bear. Polar bears hate geologists, everyone knows that.
Based on the evidence at hand, Muffy deduces that science guy’s death was not an accident—ya think?!—and thus merits Marshal-type investigation and transport of said body back to the research station.
Following an autopsy, Muffy receives a mysterious call from a creepy guy who repeatedly tells her to ‘Come to Vostok.’ No reason why, no mention of what she’s supposed to do there, just ‘Come to Butthead’… I mean, Vostok. Which, of course she does, because who wouldn’t mention a musk-laden love call like that?
Did I mention there’s a big storm rolling in that’s going to completely cover Vostok and pretty much cut it off from everything else in the area, making flying into the station (Vostok’s a station, we find that out from a map) both stupid and suicidal? Well, there is. Oh, and Vostok (in case you haven’t already guessed it) is a Russian station.
Russian. Like the cargo plane. Get it? Russians are bad, bad things will happen.
Right. So. Off she goes into the wild, white yonder to…aw, who the hell knows. At this point most people still watching are (like my husband) just waiting for Katey-kins to strip down to bra and panties for a tickle fight again.
Spoiler alert: she doesn’t. One sneak of booty is all you get, I’m afraid so skip to minute 8 and cut it off at minute 10—you’ll see the best part of the movie in that two minute clip.
Okay, so we’re at Vostok and Muffy is wandering around looking for some guy name Mooney (think he’s one of the geologists, not sure, ‘cause terrible and stupid movie with terrible and stupid plot). When she finally finds him, he’s gurgle-dying after somebody turned his throat into a bloody smiley face. She also finds some mysterious parka guy who tries to stab her with an ice axe.
Did you get that? An ice axe? And that dead body? Axed to death. Ha? Ha? That’s right, there’s a polar bear in that parka. *nods sagely*
With that ice axe whackity-whacking, Muffy wisely runs away, unfortunately with Ice-Axe Pete in pursuit. Outside, it’s a blizzard and, being Antarctica, extremely cold. Like, scary cold. Like, freeze a chicken in under ten seconds cold. Despite that, Muffy forgot her mittens and spends the next several minutes navigating a guide rope and opening and closing an extremely heavy, wheel-lock style metal door with her unashamed bare hands.
Yup, no gloves. In what’s advertised as the coldest place on earth. Also, grabbing onto severely cold metal things, with those self-same bare hands. I don’t know about you, but I’d expect that to do some rather severe and permanent damage, but as you’ll see later, she somehow comes away with only a slight case of freezer burn.
Do your research, Hollywood. A stunt like that and she’d be leaving fingers behind, not just a few upper layers of skin.
Right, right, right, back on track.
Muffy escapes Ice-axe Pete (barely), blacks out and wakes up thinking Delfy’s trying to cop a feel. Maybe. Probably. She definitely gives him a just-waking-up whack. Amazingly, despite all that running around with bare grabby-handsing frozen things, she’s only got two fingers bandaged, the rest of her hands seem just fine.
At this point we introduce Robert Pryce, UN agent, who’s been sent there, by the UN, to investigate the first (axed-to-death guy) and second (smiley-throat face guy is unsurprisingly dead-dead-dead as well) murders in the Antarctica.
Note: does the UN have agents? Would they investigate something like this? I was too lazy to look this up so maybe one of you guys know…
So, Miss Muffle and UNagent hop back into the plane with Cop-A-Feel Delfy and head for the remote base where the three geologist (two known to be dead, one still missing and suspected of murdalizing the others) set up camp. Here we learn that they were searching for meteorites. This revelation is immediately followed by Muffy declaring that they ‘better get out there’.
Why? Ya wanna play tiddlywinks with the snowdunes? Ya suspect the meteorites of being the actual killers? What possible reason is there to ‘head out there’ to where the geologists were looking for meteorites when two out of three were killed in places far, far away?
Oh, right, this is just a lame and ham-fisted way to bring us back to that Russina cargo plane. *sigh* Fine. I’ll play along. After all, somebody’s gotta finish this crapfest of a movie to save others from a horrid fate.
Okay, so here we are, way, way out in the Antarctic tundra, tromping around again with exposed faces and skinny jeans and hair perfectly quaffed. Exactly what you do in Antarctica, I’m sure. Muffy, being a girl and therefore useless, immediately falls into a really deep hole. Luckily, there’s blood on the wall so she can pretend she fell down there on purpose. After Delfy and UNagent abseil into her hole (*giggles*), they find—dun-dun-dun—a mystery door! And behind that mystery door? WHY, A WHOLE FUCKING PLANE!
A Russian cargo plane, to be exact, vintage 1957 (give or take) based on the still-legible (and somehow readable to the not-Russian finders) labels on the conveniently placed and miraculously intact crate of vodka bottles.
Note: vodka freezes at -26.95° C or -16.51° F. I’m guessing it’s a lot colder than that where they are but the vodka—through the power of Russian potatoes and magic (probably) is still liquefied and full of sloshity goodness. For the record, I looked that up.
Inside, Muff & Co. find the frozen-up bodies of all the dead Russian crew. To pad out the movie some more, we revisit virtually the entire opening sequence as Marshal Muffy recreates the scene CSI style, finding fresh blood in the process, along with that once-padlocked but now busted open and entirely empty crate. Muffy—who’s apparently a mind reader and/or psychic—hypothesizes that the gash on the leg of Dead Guy Number 1 was a result of him busting off the locks and stabbing himself in the process, and when UNagent reveals that the crate likely contained cylinders of nuclear fuel, we finally have something approaching a plot.
Almost. It never quite comes together, I’m afraid. Evidently a plot and real writers cost more than Kate Beckinsale’s luscious, panties-clad bootie, so we’ll just have to be happy with minute 8 for now.
Also, I have no idea why UNagent assumes there was nuclear fuel in that crate, but apparently Russians, arms trafficking, bad things… obviously a buried 1957 cargo plane would be carrying nuclear fuel. Also-also, there’s no explanation for how the box-stabbing geologists got into the deeply buried cargo plane to steal said supposedly nuclear fuel/missing payload since the surface is completely covered over when the Muff and Buff crew arrive. But… sure. No problem. We’ll go with that.
And soon… cave-in! Or—Or a hole-in? I dunno. The hole collapses, trapping them on the cargo plane until UNagent MacGuyvers the emergency hatch and busts them a way out.
Outside, it’s blizzarding. Again. Because…Antarctica. Also, it’s really cold and the battery on the snow buggy the Muff Crew drove out to meterorite town is flat, so Fred, Shaggy and Daphne decide it’s a really good time to start drinking some of that 50-year-old vodka. And, through the power of vodka, the buggy magically revives! Huzzah!
So, it’s back to…what the hell is the name of that first station? Bunny? Yeah, that’s it, Bunny Station. Don’t believe me? Watch the movie. Go ahead, I dare you. C’mon, ya big pussy. You think you’re so smart, well, sit through this shit storm of a film and tell me if you can remember any of the plot points and details. Hell, tell me if you can remember your name after this turd bucket of a film rots that grey squishy thing you call a brain.
Ha! Didn’t think so.
In a vain attempt to add some plot and purpose to this movie, Muffy goes to see Doc McBeardy about her frozy fingers and learns their both frostbitten and dead. So, off they go!
Later, and 2 fingers shorter, Muffy has a minor meltdown.
Note: This is the most pathetic scene in a really bad movie. In a fit of pique and frustration, she knocks some papers and a CD (bet it’s Bieber) off her desk because SHE CAN’T BUTTON A BUTTON and sits down to have herself a good cry. After a heart-to-heart with UNagent, and a protracted stint of lame, uninteresting and excruciatingly time-wasting flashbacks, we finally learn why Ms. Muffet ran away to Antarctica, and again I start to get stabby.
God dammit. Can’t we have just one movie where we get a strong female character who (1) doesn’t get naked for no reason, (2) doesn’t get weepy for no reason, and (3) actually goes somewhere and does something challenging because she’s badass as fuck and actually wants to and not because she’s running away from some stupid thing that doesn’t matter and really isn’t that bad? GAAAHHHHHH!!!!
Movie? What? Uhh…some guy is crying and has a knife. Don’t know who he is, don’t know why. Uh…apparently he was involved in the nuclear fuel stealing. With absolutely no prompting from Muffy, he spills his guts about all of the really illegal things they did because…reasons. And stuff. Then he runs away. For reasons. And stuff.
Jokes on him, though, ‘cause Ice-Axe Pete is back to first stab, then neck-break him and leave him for dead.
Having learned nothing from her last ill-prepared foray into the Antarctic cold, Muffy runs after him and knocks Ice-Axe cold with a shovel. Inside, and de-parkaed, we learned that Ice-Axe is both Australian—never trust an Antarctic kangaroo—and one of the free-wheeling, ass-wagglers from the movie’s opening. Also, he was in on the whole cargo plane, nuclear whatsis stealing and the contents are hidden in his room.
Meanwhile, the station is being evacuated, because of the storm and on-going murders, leaving the clock ticking for Muff to figure this out. Muffy tosses Crocodile Dunfreeze’s room for the nabbed-up nuclear fuel, and when she doesn’t find it, goes back to sexy-times the location out of him. In a twist that should surprise no one, she finds the Roo has fled the coop, apparently cut free by some sneaky-no-goodnick.
Oh, and someone stabbed Delfy. The wound looks Australian.
Meanwhile, the last plane out radios that they have to leave, but Muffy, Doc and UNagent bravely choose to stay behind to search for Kangaroo Jack. Oh, and help Delfy. Someone should probably do that.
Outside in the storm, Kangaroo Jack tries to steal a plane. Muffy and UNagent jump in to stop him, only to find the Roo gave them the slip and is now heading back to the station to lock them out.
What? There’s no spare key? They didn’t slip one under a potted plant somewhere? Sheesh. What kind of half-assed American research station is this? They could at least stick one of those hide-a-key thingies somewhere for emergencies.
So, Barby-Roo locks up the station to keep UNagent busy while he actually stays outside to do Muffy in.
Yes, I’m aware that that sentence makes no sense. This movie makes no sense. This entire scene makes no sense. But here we are, outside in a blizzard with Muffy and her somewhat pointless gun up against Kangaroo Jack and his Ice Axe of Deathness. What ensues is probably meant to be tense and nail-biting—two good guys against the lone baddy, all of them strapped to the same guide ropes in the middle of a white-out blizzard—but is instead so horrific it’s laughable. Stupid stunts, terrible close-ups, a fight that seems pointless and a baddy who just stands there staring for like 2 hours before Muffy cuts him loose of the mortal coil with her Plus 3 Ice Axe of Retribution.
RIP Kangaroo Jack. You should’ve stayed in Australian where the wallabies and the Tasmanian devils roam.
Despite the station being locked up tight earlier, Muffy and UNagent easily managed to get in, (I bet there was a spare key, I bet they didn’t look hard enough before) decide to crack one of those nuclear cylinders open (because that’s safe) and find…
Jelly beans. There’s jelly beans inside.
Damn those crazy Russians. Damn them to hell.
What? Stolen? Probably packed off on the cargo plane? Oh. I guess that…no. No, it doesn’t. I refuse to believe anything in this movie is either worthwhile or makes sense.
Still, Muffy thinks she’s on to something so she prints out a list from the computer with numbers and ‘X’s that evidently means something because some numbers have ‘X’s and some don’t. (Spoiler alert: she thinks the non-‘X’ed numbers are important. Shh. Secret).
A search of the station’s unclaimed luggage locker reveals…another door! This one leading to…a room! And inside that room? Ice samples and dead bodies: Geologist 1 (axed to death) and Geologist 2 (smiley-face gash-neck).
In an unexpected twist, Muffy decides to et handsy and grope around on some dead bodies for a bit. That’s when she notices the stiches on that wound in Axed-to-Death’s leg. Stitching that looks exactly like the stitching on her now-missing fingers.
Doc McStuffins! Say it isn’t so!
On a hunch, Muffy the Body Groper, opens up one of the dead bodies and finds two big bags of uncut diamonds inside.
Wait a minute! Diamonds—Russians—Nuclear—What the fuck?! Diamonds, seriously? All this nuclear this, and gotta save the world that, and now this is all just about a bunch of stupid-ass greedy drunkards going after some glitzy rocks? LAME! BEYOND LAME! I WILL LITERALLY STAB THESE WRITERS IN THE HANDS SO THEY NEVER WRITE THIS KIND OF CRAP AGAIN.
*deep breath, deep breath, urge to killing falling*
Why, I ask rationally, do I get the feeling they started shooting this movie without actually writing the whole thing? Oh right, because it sucks big donkey balls and should never have been made in the first place.
Meanwhile, back in the shit-tastic movie, Doc McStuffins is confessing to everything, again, for entirely no reason—side note: apparently it’s really, really easy to be a Marshal so sign me up—and why, you ask, is he body-stuffing stolen, found-in-a-Russian cargo plane diamonds? No idea. Retirement. Maybe? He probably explained it all while mumble-confessing to Muffy but I realized I didn’t really care and just wanted this vomit fest to be over and therefore purposely didn’t pay attention.
After tossing back a few drinks and getting all maudlin and mumbly, Doc Whipperstitch steps out of the station to die alone in a frozen hell because he ‘just wants to see the Aurora Australis one last time’. And because she still cares for him, this crooked, whipstitchy daddy she never had, Muffy just nods and weepily lets him go.
6 months later…
An empty station, some moody lighting, a Muffy busily typing away at a computer, coffee cup in hand. In a tear-jerky moment we get to read an email on her computer—her notice that she’s rescinding her resignation because, goddammit, she’s a tough weepy broad and ain’t no crooked kangaroo or whipstitching polar bear gonna keep this sister down.
Coat in place, hat firmly on head, gloves…she probably forgot those, Muffy strides off into the Aurora Australis to do some rootin’ tootin’, strip down to bra and panties while wearing high heels and butt pointing stuff.
(Mercifully) The end.
I want to apologize to the authors of the original graphic novel for my criticism, I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as bad as this movie, Hollywood just did them wrong. If you come across this movie, like me, while surfacing Netflix or Amazon Watch Instantly, please, for the love of god, don’t watch it.
You have been warned. (Unless you’re Lilyn. Then you’ve been challenged to watch it.)
Overall Rating of Whiteout:
- Bad Moving Rating: 1 (out of 5)
- Regular Movie Rating: 0.25 (out of 5)
For the first time ever, I only have on worth mentioning, and it’s not even that good…
Man in Hall: Hey Marshal, don’t you owe me a strip search?
Carrie Stetko: [about earlier streaking] You were the second guy out the door, right?
Man in Hall: Yeah.
Carrie Stetko: Not interested.