VOD film review: The Quake
Ivan Radford | On 25, May 2019
Director: John Andreas Andersen
Cast: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Edith Haagenrud-Sande, Jonas Hoff Oftebro
Watch The Quake online in the UK: Amazon Prime / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store
Meet your new favourite cinematic genre: the Norwegian disaster movie. It sounds improbable, but after 2015’s The Wave proved a titanic hit at the box office, along comes a follow-up, The Quake. Because Norwegian cinema hasn’t only invented Scandisaster: it’s also invented disaster movie sequels.
Taking place several years after the first movie’s devastating tsunami, we catch up with geologist Kristian Eikjord (Kristoffer Joner, reprising his role), who has withdrawn from the world, obsessed with those he didn’t manage to save. But when a former colleague dies in a freak accident, and he uncovers reports from his late friend about unusual seismic activity, he pieces together a warning sign for another catastrophe altogether: an earthquake that could level Oslo to the ground.
Having a lead hero traumatised from the fallout of a disaster is a fantastic, surprisingly novel touch for a disaster flick; combined with Joner’s performance, one of sincerity as well as smarts, it brings a tangible sense of consequence and a huge emotional impact to the large-scale chaos and destruction that has gone before and is soon to follow. With Kristian’s daughter, Julia (Edith Haagenrud-Sande), and his estranged wife (Ane Dahl Torp) both finding themselves in danger, the result is a superbly balanced mix of family drama and stunning effects. The whole thing climaxes in a heart-stopping hotel-set rescue, which tilts Kristian’s world off-kilter to an absurd yet believable degree – you won’t even notice until afterwards that you’ve been clinging to the arm of your seat throughout.
The result is the best disaster movie made in years, and proof that Hollywood doesn’t own blockbuster action. Director John Andreas Andersen has here crafted a cracking bit of popcorn cinema that leaves you hoping for a third round.
The Quake is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.