Disaster movies aren’t exactly my bag, but this time isn’t about american setpieces and explosion porn, it’s a norwegian thriller about a distraught geologist, Kristian Elkjord, who years ago was able to save his family and other people from a previous earthquake, but was also consumed by guilt over the many people who died, and became obsessed by his work and research. So much he practically abandoned his family.
When he hears of a friend/colleague dying, he starts looking through his notes and alternative theories about the methods of detecting and reading telluric activity, he realizes he was onto something, and tries to convince his old boss that an earthquake of gynormic proportion is about to break out in Oslo, but he dismisses it as him being paranoid as hell, even more since the technology they have now made monitoring sismic activity even better than before.
But because the movie would stop 40 minutes in otherwise, Kristian is right about the earthquake, and tries to grab his family and run away before it happens, but he has to rescue them from a crumbling skyscraper in the center of the city during the aftershocks.
If you’re here mostly for the spectacle of Mother Earth undoing the work of man in a fell, catastrophic swoop (which delivers in the final act), then The Quake isn’t for you, because it’s mostly about Kristian trying to make amends with his family left behind for a cause he found to be more important, feeling responsable for not having done more before.
Which isn’t a bad thing since the drama is compelling, acting is good, but characters and direction feel a bit too dry, especially in the action scenes of the last act.
Not “good”, but quite, quite close, a B++, if you will. Worth seeing, still.
P.S.: Also, this seems to be a follow up of sort to a movie called The Wave (cited in the american tagline), which i didn’t see or knew existed.