AdriftThursday 31 Aug 2006
Director: Hans Horn
Starring: Susan May Pratt, Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Eric Dane, Cameron Richardson and Richard Speight Jr.
Duration: 95 minutes
The sleeper success of 2004's 'Open Water' - a story about a scuba-diving couple abandoned in shark-infested waters - apparently ensured that 'Adrift' also known as 'Open Water 2', got greenlighted. It's easy to understand why, as 'Adrift' also claims to be based on real events and depicts a similarly nightmarish situation but, like 'Open Water', it feels stretched over its 95-minute running time.
After not seeing each other for a few years, good looking high school friends Amy (Pratt), Zach (Lange), Lauren (Hillis) and Dan (Dane) gather together on Dan's sparkling new yacht to celebrate Zach's birthday. Also along for the trip are Dan's new girlfriend, the beautiful Michelle (Richardson), Amy's husband (Speight Jr) and their young baby, Sara. It's all drinks on the deck and happy reunions at first - but viewers know the longer the nicey-nice build-up continues, the worse the eventual circumstances are going to be. And it doesn't get much worse than when the six buddies end up in the water with no way of getting back on board the yacht.
As the day wears on the water-logged sextet get tired, dehydrated and scared, their bickering leading to several stupid and gruesome accidents. Things go from very bad to much, much worse as friendships are tested, the group shows an unerring ability to exacerbate the situation - and then the baby wakes up.
The feeling of impending doom that you get while watching 'Adrift' quickly turns to escalating exasperation as you realise just how stupid these characters are (luckily the one who screams the most is seen off first) and how unlikely they are to get it together to save themselves. There are undoubtedly tense moments but these are diluted by too much aimless bobbing about in the water, over-the-top crying and drawn out, heartfelt confessions. Trashy, admittedly, but 'Adrift' is still worth a look, even as a "what-not-to-do-when-holidaying-on-a-luxury-yacht" training scenario.