The Quake Movie Review
Two rules: 1) anywhere Kristoffer Joner is, stay as far away as possible; and 2) if Kristoffer Joner says we’re all going to die, listen to him.
Joner returns in a sequel to the excellent Norwegian disaster movie The Wave, in which his town was decimated by a gigantic landslide and tsunami, with The Quake, in which his town is decimated by a gigantic earthquake.
The town this time is actually a city, and the city is Oslo, so the stakes are bigger and the death count assuredly higher, but new director John Andreas Andersen, whose most recent film is called Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama--which sounds amazing--follows the formula of The Wave especially well, delivering another satisfying disaster movie that defies its limited budget.
Unlike American disaster movies, which would feature multiple huge sequences full of CGI, scores of people getting killed, and Dwayne Johnson in a helicopter, The Quake remains more focused and intimate in its approach--while still offering up plenty of spectacle.
The visual effects are great, the suspense real, and the big earthquake scene more than satisfying. Made on a $6 million budget, it’s frankly stunning that Andersen and his team were able to pull something off this scale off (seriously, why do American movies cost so much?). It’s also fascinating to watch for the ways Andersen delivered a movie that is just as exciting and suspenseful than any Hollywood blockbuster.
The Quake is an utter blast. Thanks to strong writing, effective acting, and a perfectly staged story that builds to the big event, The Quake is one of the more entertaining movies of the year. Rule #3: if Kristoffer Joner is in a disaster movie, watch it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.