Whiteout feels like one of those movies that never progressed much beyond the concept stage – yet ended up getting released anyway.
Somewhere in some studio office somebody pitched the idea of a murder mystery set amidst the isolation and deadly cold of a research station in Antarctica. Not a bad thought, except they forgot to make the movie. Whiteout drops its stars in this milieu and gives them – and thereby the audience – virtually nothing to do.
A grim Kate Beckinsale stars as the U.S. Marshall assigned to the station. She must have really been cold, because a pained expression rarely leaves her face. Or maybe she’s simply annoyed with the screenplay, which gives away one of the bad guys early on and otherwise plods from one dull development to the next.
Director Dominic Sena (Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds) does very little with the wintry setting, save for a frantic fight scene in which you can barely tell which heavily bundled figure is the hero and which one is the killer. If I wanted that sort of visual confusion, I’d watch Transformers.