The most telling component of how misguided and laboriously mediocre Whiteout, the latest film from Gone in 60 Seconds director Dominic Sena, is can be found within the manner in which its heroine, United States Marshal Carrie Stetko, is introduced. The camera tracks the back of Stetko, played by the aesthetically immaculate Kate Beckinsale, through the winding corridors of her station at a research lab on Antarctica before she arrives at her personal quarters. Beckinsale then begins to slowly remove every layer of her clothing in preparation for a remarkably unnecessary shower sequence.

Now, before that begins to sound like a prospect that may make Whiteout worth your time or money, keep in mind how unabashedly pointless this extended scene is. It's not showing us how savage the conditions in Antarctica are, as Beckinsale looks like she just emerged from a week at a health spa. It's not showing us how mundane her job is, as the camera spends a fraction of the time on her badge as it does her dwindling layers of clothing. No, the only purpose of this sequence is to show off the sole allure this film has: Kate Beckinsale. And Sena is brazen in treating her like a commodity.

This shouldn't come as a surprise from the man who captained the film that paid Halle Berry a bonus $500,000 for her bare bosom (note: Beckinsale does not actually go the Berry/Swordfish route), but it is the first sign of how tonally incongruous the entirety of Whiteout is. Preceding this strip-down is an opening flashback to fifty-years prior in which a poorly rendered CGI Soviet plane crashes under mysterious circumstances during a poorly rendered CGI snow storm. Following the shower sequence is the establishment of a murder mystery so convoluted it comes as no surprise that four different people share a screenwriting credit on top of the author of the graphic novel upon which the 'first murderer in Antarctica premise' is based.
categories Reviews, Cinematical