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Netflix Daily Pick: Natural Disaster in ‘The Wave’ (2016)

Today's pick is a thrilling action adventure from Norway.

The Wave is a 2016 disaster film about a small Norwegian village what lies at the end of a popular tourist fjord where a massive rock cliff threatens to crumble into the bay, causing a tidal wave of epic destruction.

Today’s Netflix Pick is a smart and very well made disaster film from Norway that proves Hollywood isn’t the only place big special effects movies must come from. Starring a cast you’ve never heard of, nonetheless, this a remarkably powerful story produced and performed by top level professionals in a story that works not because of the incredible visual effects, but because of the people in it. It’s The Wave and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

READ MORE: Our full review of the Norwegian blockbuster The Wave

THE STORY: Directed by Roar Uthaug, it follows Kristian Eikjord (Kristoffer Joner), a staffer at the Geiranger Warning Center, a necessity in Gerianger since impending rockslides and their subsequent tsunamis are a constant threat. Eikjord is concerned about some unusual activity with the groundwater and substratum, which he suspects is cause for serious alarm. Naturally, as is required in this kind of movie, no one believes him, especially the highly-trained crew who see exactly what he sees but don’t make the leap. Eikjord has very real warrant for his sense of coming doom and the 10-minute evacuation clock in place in case something bad does happen. He is supposed to be leaving for the city with his family, who are staying in the nearby hotel, right on the waterfront. He’s got a new job waiting but of course he is detained and good thing because Mother Nature wants to play.

The Wave
The Wave, 2016 © Fantefilm

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: Big, goofy, special effects-laden disaster films are a staple in movie blockbusters, but they’ve all primarily been churned out of the United States. No more. Uthaug’s The Wave, called Bølgen in Norway, is a spectacular contribution to the fold with some very impressive visuals and action set pieces, but more so is how well the characters are developed. A good chunk of the movie takes place well after the wave strikes, leaving these people struggling to survive. Not all will. It’s tense and moving. Yes, you’ll have to read some subtitles here and there, unless you can understand Norwegian but it’s well worth it as The Wave is delivered in sensational ways. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.