Tidal Wave is a disaster movie that spends most of its running time building up to the tragedy, filling it's first 2/3's not with chaos and CGI, but character development. In fact, following a dramatic pre-title rescue at sea (which occurs on Dec. 26, 2004, the same day a real Tsunami crashed into Southeast Asia, killing hundreds of thousands of people), the film slips into comedy mode for a while, with plenty of insults, pratfalls and general mayhem, before settling down into more melodramatic territory.
Far from growing impatient with Tidal Wave, I realized, once the action took hold, that the time dedicated to exploring the various back stories was time well spent; I found myself caring about these characters, and when the wall of water finally did arrive (an event that’s simultaneously spectacular and horrifying), there was an added layer to the tragedy because of how invested I'd become in these characters.
Did the payoff justify all the time spent building up to it? Well, it certainly did for me.
Please leave a comment below... I'd love to hear from you