Adrift - DVD review

2 out of 5
£20

For

The simple original premis should have delivered a top-notch thriller, plenty of scantily-clad chicks, people may now go back and look at Open Water, the far superior “prequel”

Against

Dopey plot holes, cringe-worthy dialogue, the pathetic special features package

A high-school reunion aboard a luxury yacht goes horribly wrong in this big screen debut from German director Hans Horn.

After cutting Zach’s (Lange) 30th birthday cake and sinking a few celebratory cocktails, four of the group decide to have a quick dip in the ocean to sober up.

Meanwhile, the ship’s owner Dan (Dane) opts to keep Amy (Pratt) - who has a phobia of water due to an accident in her childhood - and her young baby company on board.

Determined to cure Amy’s irrational fear of all things wet, full-time moron Dan (who spouts dim-witted catchphrases like “here’s to staying single, seeing double and sleeping triple”) decides to adopt a sink or swim – literally - policy by grabbing Amy and jumping into the ocean.

However, our man has overlooked one crucial detail – he’s forgotten to put the outboard ladder down and the group are now stranded in the middle of the ocean with night fast approaching and a 3-month-old baby left alone on board.

Adrift is being released as “Open Water 2” in the US, marketed as a sequel to the 2004 hit that saw two divers left to die in shark-infested Caribbean waters.

However, the script for this later effort was actually completed before Open Water hit the big screen, and has no genuine connection other than the obvious similarities in plot.

Why, for example, would a woman so terrified of water agree to a jaunt on a yacht, and why on earth would she bring her baby with her? Her hydrophobic backstory adds little excitement or tension to the story and seems to be a lazy plot device designed to justify how the sextet could end up in the water without the ladder.

Adam Kreutner’s script could also do with jettisoning some cringe-worthy lines such as “there’s nothing like a screaming orgasm to start the day” and “I’m hot”, “yes you are”.

There are a couple of tense moments involving an improvised rope made out of swimming costumes, Kreutner does well to avoid going down the shark-infested water route, and Richardson is one to watch – not least for her penchant for obscenely tiny bikinis. But, overall, “Adrift” sinks without a trace.

Apart from a totally useless theatrical trailer (and handful of previews for other upcoming Fox releases), all this dismal special features package has to offer is an unenlightening 20-minute “Making Of” featurette. The majority of this is taken up with gormless plot exposition (surely anyone who has watched the movie will have already worked out the far from labyrinthine plot) and the typical “he’s a genius” fawning over director Hans Horn.

Verdict

Planned originally as a low-budget German project, Hans Horn reacted to the success of Open Water by relocating to Malta for the shoot and recasting American actors cast to cash in on the more lucrative Western audiences.

But, ironically, this is exactly the reason why Adrift fails to live up to its predecessor. Open Water was shot on digital cameras that brought a grim reality to proceedings, and there was a terrifying plausibility to the set-up that is conspicuously absent in Adrift’s waterlogged plot.

Rating: 15
Staring: Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr., Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane
Directed by: Hans Horn
Extras: Making Of' featurette, Theatrical trailer