Wednesday, April 27, 2022

#2,745. The Quake (2018) - 21st Century Disaster Movies Triple Feature


A sequel to 2015’s The Wave, we once again join the Elkjord family, which, three years after the catastrophic tsunami, has fallen on hard times.

Blaming himself for not saving more people when the wave hit, Kristian (Kristoffer Joner) has moved back to Geiranger, and dedicates his time to researching other potential disasters, in the hopes of preventing the additional loss of lives. His estranged wife Idun (Ane Dahl Torp), who now works at the prestigious Radisson Blu Hotel, and their two kids, Sondre (Jonas Hoff Oftebro) and Julia (Edith Haagenrud-Sande), live in a small apartment in Oslo, waiting for the day Kristian decides to return to them.

That day may come sooner than expected; Kristian receives word that a colleague of his, geologist Konrad Lindblom, was killed while investigating the Oslofjord Tunnel.

Fearing his colleague may have discovered a fault somehow connected to the tunnel, Kristian pays a visit to Lindblom’s house, where the late researcher’s adult daughter Marit (Kathrine Thorborg Johansen) is busy planning her father’s funeral and getting his affairs in order. She lets Kristian have a look at Lindblom’s research, which includes a map of recent seismic activity, and he makes a frightening discovery: a major earthquake, strong enough to level Oslo, may be days away from striking!

Armed with this information, Kristian tries to warn Lindblom’s former supervisor, Johannes Løberg (Stig R. Amdan), that he should start thinking about evacuating the city, while also telling Inud and the kids to get out of Oslo as soon as possible. But much like what happened in Geiranger three years ago, nobody is prepared when the crippling earthquake finally hits.

As it was with The Wave, The Quake spends more time on its central characters than it does the disaster, and because we know them well enough, we’re just as invested in their plight this time around. As played by Joner, Kristian is a shell of his former self, a geologist who felt he missed an opportunity to save his neighbors three years earlier and has been beating himself up about it ever since, despite the reassurances of his family (and everyone else) that he was not to blame. We see just how far he’s fallen when, early on, young Julia visits him for a week in Geiranger, only to be sent home the day after her arrival by Kristian, who is in no state of mind to have company. We care about the Elkjord clan, all of whom are played by the same actors from The Wave, and we also sympathize with Marid, who was alienated from her workaholic father and teams up with Kristian to see for herself what he was trying to accomplish in his final days.

Of course, it’s the later scenes in The Quake that will take your breath away; the sight of the earthquake rolling into Oslo is impressive enough, but pales in comparison to the devastation it causes, especially to the Radisson Blu, where Kristian, Inud, Marit and Julia are trapped. There are some nail-biting moments scattered throughout the final act of The Quake, and plenty of drama as well.

The Quake is both a solid sequel to The Wave and a strong disaster film in its own right, and I recommend you watch both of these superb movies as soon as you can.
Rating: 8 out of 10

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