Film Review: The Burning Sea

Arthur and Sofia

There’s nothing like a good, or even bad for that matter, disaster movie. They’re the very definition of cinematic escapism. The bigger and dafter the better. The they don’t usually stand up to scrutiny is neither here nor there. Hollywood is keen to oblige, but Harald Rosenløw-Eeg has other ideas. He’s now written three really good action films (The Wave, The Quake and now The Burning Sea) which take on America at its own game and don’t require you to leave your brain at the door.

Fifty years after the discovery of one of the world’s biggest fields in the North Sea, the oil industry in Norway is booming. However, the environmental consequences are just beginning to be fully understood. When a rig collapses, scientific researchers Sofia (Kristine Kujath Thorp) and Arthur (Rolf Kristian Larsen) are drafted in to investigate the causes. What they discover is terrifying and sparks a race against time to evacuate and secure the platforms.

The Burning Sea carries on in the same vein from Rosenløw-Eeg’s previous action films. Once again, it works so well due to the emphasis on the intimate. John Andreas Andersen’s film put the relationship between Sofia and Stian (Henrik Bjelland) at its heart, which allows the action to feel real and not just layers of endless CGI. Indeed, by lowering the stakes The Burning Sea manages to operate deftly within its bullet while never forgetting the bigger picture.

The Burning Sea is in theatres, on demand and on digital on 25 February in the US.

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