[Movie Review] THE BURNING SEA
Courtesy Magnet Releasing
You would think with the planet already a disaster that disaster movies would have very little appeal. You would think…but you’d be wrong. Disaster movies are great but the problem is that most disaster films — here’s looking at you Hollywood — are just glorified action movies with a tornado or earthquake thrown in. The disaster aspect has been replaced with fast-paced car scenes, and The Rock trying to use his strength to do whatever The Rock does. I’m a glutton for punishment, so I watched the disaster flick THE BURNING SEA and, if a breath of fresh air exists in the disaster film genre, this is it.

THE BURNING SEA, also called Nordsjoen, was written by Harald Rosenløw-Eeg and Lars Gudmestad. It was directed by John Andreas Andersen and stars Kristine Kujath Thorp, Henrik Bjelland, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Anders Baasmo, Anneke von der Lippe, and Bjørn Floberg.

The story follows two researchers, Sofia and Arthur, who are called to a ship after an oil rig platform in the North Sea has collapsed. After finding a survivor with their submarine camera, they are forced to abandon the rescue after another disaster on the rig is triggered by a large crack on the seafloor. After viewing the footage, what they find is the beginning of a domino effect that will end in disaster. In an attempt to save lives, oil rigs are evacuated, but when Sofia’s boyfriend, Stian, is left on a collapsed rig, she and Arthur go in to save him. Unfortunately, the sea isn’t done fighting back yet,

As long as you don’t mind subtitles, this may be one of the best movies you see this year. I wouldn’t call it a slow burn, as the first platform collapse occurs within the first 10-15 minutes of the film. From there, THE BURNING SEA runs at a steady clip. There aren’t any huge action sequences. There are no impossible jumps across long distances and the “near misses” that you always see in these movies comes off as realistic and heart-wrenching, not cheesy or cliche. The acting from literally everyone is phenomenal and it was nice to see the companies and government actually try to be active in preventing a disaster instead of just thinking about money and ignoring the science.

At first, I thought THE BURNING SEA was going to be a mockumentary type of film because of the introduction and the grittier way in which the movie is filmed. Even though it is filmed as standard fare, the film’s color grading is spectacular, giving it an eerie feeling and making it so you can almost feel the salt spray in your face. My favorite moment of the film, without giving too much away, is a scene where there is a temperature change for the actors, and the changes in the actors’ behaviors are subtle and so realistic that I wondered how much of the scene was purely acting.

If you can watch THE BURNING SEA, I highly recommend it. The pacing is steady. The story is eye-opening. The acting is incredible and it may become your favorite disaster film. This is definitely a movie to beat in 2022.

THE BURNING SEA will be available in theaters, On Demand, and Digital on February 25, 2022.

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