“The Impossible” tells the true story of a family that decides to spend christmas at a tropical resort in Thailand. Their ideal vacation is destroyed on december 26, 2004, when they are caught in a tsunami that destroys most of the coastal.
The moments when the tsunami hits are brought to terrifying life by director J.A. Bayona and his crew. The effects are not showy or flashy. They are simply real. The water washes away everything and anything in it’s path.
Most of the movie takes place in the aftermath as this family desperately tries to reunite with each other. Through a sea of confusion and chaos they search for each other.
Ewan McGegor and Naomi Watts play Henry and Maria. The first part of the disaster follows Maria and their oldest son Lucas as they battle the rushing waters. Maria sustains some nasty wounds. Lucas does what he can to get her to a functioning hospital. Henry on the other hand manages to get their two youngest sons to the top of the hotel where they were staying. They then set off on a desperate journey to try and find Maria and Lucas.
The performances here are all quite powerful, especially Tom Holland as Lucas, the eldest boy. At one point he decides to go through the hospital in an attempt to hopefully reunite random people but loses his own mother in the process.
My only issue with this movie is that it is about a white family that is on vacation at the beginning. In all honesty I would have preferred to see a movie about the people who lived in the area, that are forced to rebuild their lives. But “The Impossible” is a powerful movie that rises above most disaster films by focusing intimately on the characters as opposed to the visual effects.