Eight Below Movie Review

When you see the phrase "inspired by a true story," you assume the accompanying movie will have the intimate perspective of someone affected by adversity. Eight Below, Disney's sled dogs in peril picture, is a case of false advertising. You get a true story only told by someone rattling off headlines and first paragraphs: "Dogs Abandoned in Snow," "Owner Sad About Dogs Missing." The only adversity worth following, which the movie doesn't cover, is how Paul Walker kept his dreamy tan in the Arctic cold.

The year for some reason -- the actual events happened in 1957 -- is 1993. Walker plays a guide at the National Science Foundation's base in Antarctica, where he and his eight sled dogs cover the terrain, helping with expeditions. Bruce Greenwood plays a big-shot scientist who comes to the cold continent looking for the remains of an asteroid or something else out of a Michael Bay movie. The men head out on the sled, encounter a heap of trouble, and barely return to headquarters.

As the NSF crew flees, an exhausted Walker has to leave his beloved dogs behind. After he's recovered, the young man is horrified to discover that he can't return. The winter has made travel too difficult, meaning the dogs have to survive in the snow and brutal cold. The movie proceeds to profile the dogs' plight and Walker scrambling for months to get his furry friends back.

Neither plotline is effective. Walker is not a terrible actor, but he's asked to carry half the movie, which is like asking Jessica Alba to bench press 300 pounds. Walker can play macho jerks and little else -- he's the poor man's Greg Kinnear -- so he's out of his league playing bereaved. Not that he gets much help from the supporting cast or writer Dave DiGilo. As Walker's best friend, Jason Biggs' lame attempt at the goofy sidekick is a reminder that his career peak involved violating an apple pie. Greenwood only provides the required gravitas for a movie like this, so parents feel as if they're not wasting an entire evening. DiGilo's screenplay further dehumanizes the movie by having nearly every one of Walker's encounters consist of a character providing a plot update or inspirational/sensible drivel. You can't go back; it's too dangerous. My love for these animals will keep me safe. You know, that kind of stuff.

The dogs fare better even if they are in the harsher conditions. Their scenes of scrapping for food and protection are fun, sometimes exciting. But just a few months after March of the Penguins captured the hearts and dollars of Americans, the scenes have an uncomfortable familiarity and reek of cashing in. It's fitting. Eight Below runs on assumptions (You love dogs, and you love March of the Penguins) and shop-worn clichés, but offers no compelling reason to care again. It's familiar, it's run of the mill, and the writing and performances all too willingly follow suit. Call the movie "uninspired by a true story."

Aka 8 Below.

Gimme another meatball, and I'll tell ya.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Comments

ncsnoangel's picture

ncsnoangel

This is the best movie ever. The dogs are so well trained to show emotion. This show will make you cry,laugh, and love the dogs.

7 years 9 months ago
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jammy'sdad's picture

jammy'sdad

For those who think it is terrible of Disney to suddenly put out a movie where a dog dies, go back and watch Old Yeller. The dog for whom the movie was named gets shot before the end of the film.That, however, is not why I am posting here. As one who loves my dogs dearly, I thought the film was a good one.I too would rather all 8 of the dogs in the Disney telling made it, but as so many have complained that it is fanciful to have daylight in Antarctica in winter, it would be sugar-frosted to have EVERYTHING work out.Whether you like the movie or not is your own to decide. I thought it was well made... not as action packed as what gets in the big bucks at the box-office, but well worth seeing by anyone who likes dogs.

6 years 5 months ago
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muherdgirl's picture

muherdgirl

This was a terrible movie... I cried pretty much through the entire thing. It was horribly marketed to make people think that all the dogs would survive when 2 did not. What made it even worse is how the one dog died when he was just playing... It tore me up to see that dog having so much fun, and then fall and start to wimper and then die. It was horrible. I cant believe Disney would direct this film to families... It is just plain awful.

6 years 11 months ago
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lurker's picture

lurker

I agree with you. At least 4 stars!! Also, any dog lover with enjoy this movie. Made me come home and hug my dog!

8 years 5 months ago
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Crista's picture

Crista

Hey I enjoyed this movie Paul Walker is a great actor I think that you should watch this movie becasue you must not have and for his tan WHO CARES great movie 5 star for me great job Paul The dogs and the other people that were in this movie

8 years 2 months ago
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jessica's picture

jessica

I thought this movie was really good! Everything about it was great! I cryed 14 times haha and my friend that I went with cryed four times! The movie had sad,happy,and scary parts! It is now one of my favorite movies!! I think its a movie for all ages! I def. think it deserves a better rating then 2 starts more like 4 or more!!! It was a GOOD movie!!! Everyone I went with loved it as well!

8 years 5 months ago
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DerryC's picture

DerryC

For a disney movie created for kids, it was an excelent film. You must have been expecting an adult film from disney. You have bad taste in movies. Im am 19 and I dont like alot of disney movies, but this one was inspirational. I guess kids can get the message, but I guess you can't. It is a must see and I will own it on DVD if i dont see it again in theaters. I agree, you must not be a dog lover, because lot's of people could relate to this, and kids would love this movie. Because remember it is made for kids, but adults alike will love this movie. All I know is that I took two girls to see it, and they loved it. They actually had tears from some of the scenes. It shows human compassion for any living species. I would rate this movie alot better than u did, I would give it atleast 4 stars.

8 years 6 months ago
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Movie_Lover's picture

Movie_Lover

i think ur being harsh towards Paul Walker. hes a great actor and he isnt mean in every movie and he does great! in running scared his character was sensitive and protected his family . and eight below was a great movie! sad but great! i would like to see it again. and paul did a great job in this movie! even though he did have a tan while being in the artic...but u could only see his head most the time anyways...but hes still hot with big coats and boots on! he could pull off that look!

8 years 2 months ago
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larryw's picture

larryw

I have to agree with the other comments. The reviewer obviously thinks he is smarter than all the other reviewers out there, oh wait, either everyone else is wrong or our friend here is. I vote the latter. Great Disney film.

7 years 8 months ago
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polarisnik's picture

polarisnik

Sorry Pete, but I think you are far off the mark here. Although it was a cheesy part for Jason Biggs and I wasn't buying the act, missing only black horn rimmed glasses and a white jacket with a black tie. His "Jerry Lewis" inspired character was cute but I wasn't feeling it. Other than that, I think you must not be a dog lover. I saw the look in the lead character's face and recognized it as the same pain in the face of my family members when we lost our dog, Trigger. It's a silent pain! What would you have had him do, rithe around on the floor, clutching a dog collar, would that have been more convincing to please you? I loved the movie, I cried, my daughter loved it and I will return to the movie theatre to see it again and then buy the DVD when it comes out. Sorry you hated it but the rest of us liked it.

8 years 6 months ago
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Eight Below Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG, 2006

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