The Impossible (2012)

rob challengeOn the weekly challenge this week Rob ha selected the inspiring story of survival after the Boxing Day tsunami, The Impossible, this is a film that I knew about but have also chosen to avoid because of the subject involved.

logoDirector: J.A. Bayona

Writer: Sergio G Sanchez (Screenplay) Maria Belon (Story)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Marta Etura, Sonke Mohring

Plot: The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Inspirationally Story

Story: The Impossible starts by telling us about the tsunami that hit Thailand and the damage to countless lives it caused. We meet our family parents Maria (Watts) father Henry (McGregor) and children Lucas (Holland), Thomas (Joslin) and Simon (Pendergast) as they have travelled from Japan to this exclusive resort right on the beach. The family get to celebrate Christmas on the resort with their holiday going on perfect things are going to change.

When the Boxing Day tsunami hits the resort on Thailand thee family finds themselves separated Maria with Lucas as they battle the waves avoiding the objects left in the destruction in the path of the wave as they get thrown through the streets. Maria & Lucas stick together and save a stranded little boy before they are rescued by thee banded together locals.

Rescued Maria gets treated while Lucas becomes an unlikely hero who tries to help families get reunited in the hospital, mixing every language as each person just wants to find their family. We also follow Henry as he saves his youngest children before sending them to safety as he searches for Maria and Lucas. We know the outcome of this story but the human side of the story will test you to see if you do believe in the Impossible.

The Impossible tells a true story that comes out of one of the most shocking natural disasters in recent years. We all witnessed the disaster and saw all the suffering the people had. The story is just one family’s amazing story of reuniting after the disaster, we don’t end up seeing enough of the other survivors. It is hard to criticise this film because of how difficult the survival was. I always find these films difficult to watch because you know what will happen but in the end I don’t feel profiting on other people’s suffering is good. (8/10)

Actor Review

Naomi Watts: Maria is the stay at homee mother with doctor qualification who while on holiday with her family becomes a victim of the Boxing Day tsunami, she gets badly injured but is saved by her eldest son Lucas. Trapped together they get help but they are left with the impossible decision of how they will find the rest of their family. Naomi fully deserved her Oscar nomination by giving a great performance here. (9/10)maria

Ewan McGregor: Henry is the father of the family, he is a constant worrier and as the tsunami hits he finds himself trying to save his youngest two children Thomas & Simon. He keeps them safe in the hotel ready for rescue not knowing the fate of Maria or Lucas. Ewan does a good job but I feel he sometimes looks out of place. (7/10)henry

Tom Holland: Lucas is the eldest son of the family, he starts the holiday tired of protecting his younger brothers but when the tsunami hits he gets stranded with his mother. He has to show his heroic side and stay strong while his mother is injured. After saving her he becomes a hero at the hospital as he helps reunite families that have become separated while still searching for the rest of his. Tom shows why he was selected as the next Spiderman here by giving the best performance in the film. (9/10)lucas

Samuel Joslin: Thomas is the middle child that gets caught in the tsunami who is saved with by his father and younger brother, he gets put in the situation where he will have to look after his youngest brother while his father looks for the rest of his family. Samuel does a good job for a young actor. (7/10)

Oaklee Pendergast: Simon is the youngest son of the family who gets saved by his father before being sent to the mountains with Thomas while his father looks for the rest of his family. Oaklee does a good job for a young actor too. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Impossible is filled with other survivors from the disaster but we don’t get to meet them for long enough which is do think puts us in the situation where you will only get one moment with each survivor.

Director Review: J.A. BayonaJ A goes in a completely different direction from his last film by showing he does have the talent to give us a range of genres. (9/10)

Drama: The Impossible is a powerful drama about survival that works from the moment the tsunami hits. (10/10)

Thriller: The Impossible keeps you guessing even if you know what happens by the end f the film. (10/10)

Settings: The Impossible creates accurate settings that will make you feel like you are part of the disaster. (10/10)
Special Effects: The Impossible uses stunning amount the special effects to create the tsunami effects look very real. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Impossible is one to try but I can understand why people will miss this one. (Try It)

Best Part: Tsunami effects works brilliantly.

Worst Part: Can be difficult to watch especially if you knew someone who was trapped in the tsunami.

Believability: Our family is real and their story is real. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: You might have a few. (4/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscars

Box Office: $19 Million

Budget: 30 Million Euros

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit.

Overall: Stunning true story that will tug at your heart strings.

Rating 85


    • i don’t think it is bad but i feel it doesn’t respect the suffering of the other victims enough. i also think it is too soon after the event

      • not sure if I agree with u 100% on that. I see this as a way of showing heroics in a desperate situation, yes there were numerous victims who unfortunately suffered, but there is never a way to cover everyone’s story. This happened 8 years before the movie was made, so I dont know what is considered enough time, but I think it was enough time.

    • Good review, Darren. I think I agree with Rob, though. I really love this movie too, even if it is hard to watch at times. No one likes to watch suffering, especially real-life suffering, but the inspiration comes from seeing how they overcome that, and how we the viewers might do the same in hard situations of our own. The too-soon question depends a lot on how it’s handled. United 93 was only five years after 9/11.

      • United 93 was more of a tribute to those victims and heroes who were killed in a cowardly human action, this was a natural disaster that i would prefer to see in a series of survivor stories rather than just one family.

      • I see what you mean. It would have been nice to put more of a focus on those who lost their homes or worse rather than just their hotel. It did help me better realize the immensity of the disaster though.

  1. Nice Review. I’ve been meaning to see this because I’m still not sold on Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Maybe this movie will change my mind

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