Ane Dahl TorpEdith Haagenrud-Sande...
Action & AdventureCrime
John Andreas Andersen
In 3 Cinemas
A simple chocolate bar can compensate for a bad day at work or a lovers quarrel, but what happens when the problems are big; is the simple chocolate bar still sufficient compensation? The Quake tries to make up for its faults in its third act, but whether or not it is successfully able to do so is highly debatable
The Quake is a sequel to the 2015 feature The Wave, and follows troubled geologist Kristian Elkjord (Kristoffer Joner), who is not completely over a past trauma, as he stumbles on to possible evidence of an imminent earthquake. When no one believes him, Kristian has to attempt to save his wife (Ane Dahl Torp) and two children and survive amidst the disaster he predicted.
The concept of the plot is a somewhat standard disaster film, not too much unlike The Quake’s prequel The Wave. Indeed, the idea of a protagonist predicting a disaster, without anyone believing them, so the protagonist is forced to take matters into their hands is not entirely a novel concept.
The pace of the plot is a bit slow, especially in the film’s second act. While characterisation and character development are important to the success of any film, The Quake focuses too much on those elements. The Quake is, after all, a disaster film; as such, instead of paying so much attention to character development, the film should have at least paid an equal amount of attention to keeping the audiences on edge and in suspense. Moreover, there are some technical and scientific aspects that may lead some viewers to not understand what is happening, or what a particular piece of evidence means, and the confusion can lead to loss of interest.
The film’s third act is where the movie starts to shine; the earthquake finally hits, and the staging seems so realistic that the feature is really able to engage audiences and have them on the edge of their seats. From crumbling buildings to survival acrobatics, the last 32 minutes of the almost 100-minute film is carefully thought out, orchestrated, and well worked.
The film was quite handsomely shot with good colouring, appealing frames and lighting that elevated some of the actors’ facial impressions and evoked details in different scenes.
As for the acting, Kristoffer Joner gave a great performance, with facial expressions and gazes that say so much more than the mere simplistic words of the dialogue ever could. Joner’s use of body language, such as the tremor of his hand, seemed natural and candid, and truly helped elevate the film. Playing Kristian’s young daughter Julia, Edith Haagenrud-Sande was able to give a balanced performance and avoided being over the top, while still providing enough charisma to have her stand out between other cast members. Ane Dahl Torp’s performance was a combination of underplayed scenes, and decent acting, with constant swinging between both.
If you liked The Wave (2015), or if you love disaster movies, then you should probably see this. Just prepare yourself to stay to the end to know what it feels like to attempt to survive during an earthquake.