A woman named Yeon-hee (Ha Ji-won) lives in Busan with her boyfriend Man-sik (Sol Kyung-gu) near Haeundae Beach. But, when they find out a tsunami will hit the city, They realize they only have 10 minutes to escape!
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Alright, there is no denying this movie doesn't get top marks for credibility. The scientific background for the catastrophe does not convince, but why not simply sit down and say: "what would happen if..."? With that premise, the movie does work and can be fun to watch.
"Tsunami" wants us to imagine that Sylt island is threatened by a gigantic wave caused by an explosion. Responsible for the explosion is a company named Alpha Gas. The motivation of its managers to run such enormous risks while searching for a new energy source is poorly explained, I'd say, because they don't need success immediately but make a research for years to come. Probably realizing that, the script pushes the responsibility for the risky experiments over to Kramlick, leader of an oil-rig who wants to blackmail the company. Kramlick triggers the explosion and escapes, now the heroes have to chase him as well as find a way to stop the tsunami - within minutes! The music works fine and makes everything a bit bigger. The computer generated effects are not bad for TV standards. Finally, let's take a look on the actors. Kristian Kiehling as Jaan, the young hero who leads a quiet life with his relatives on Sylt island, but suddenly turns into an action hero handling pistols and machine guns easily. Fortunately Kiehling resists the temptation to pose and plays as realistic as possible under the circumstances. Someone else could have ruined this movie I'm sure. Anja Knauer as Svenja, the idealistic ecologist, gets a part typical for disaster movies: the character who knows what's going to happen - but the politicians won't believe her until it is almost too late. She does well and has more dialogues than others to explain her ideas which breathes some life into the story. Svenja is not good at communication, and her mistakes make her more believable. But towering over the inferno (couldn't resist the pun) is Dan van Husen as Kramlick, a villain with intensity who controls the screen every second he's on it.
"Tsunami" was an unlucky production from the start; its release had to be postponed after the real disaster in Asia. It makes mistakes, but also has its good moments. In my view, it's not the complete disaster some reviewers called it. Give it a break when it's repeated on TV.
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