Paul Walker returns to the big screen again to give a further example of how a limited actor can be successful if he visits the gym enough and has the correct tint of blue in his eyes. His last outing was 'Into the Blue', with Jessica Alba, where he played a young man who has made his pastime his profession and holds strong ethics over everything in his life.
Take away the sun and sea and add snow and skis and you have the basic plot of 'Eight Below'. There is nothing challenging or controversial about this romp, which is unsure if it is a children's movie or an action flick. The story, inspired by true events, is that an Antarctic scientific expedition goes wrong and the team must evacuate their station as the worst winter in 25 years starts to set in. Unfortunately, the dogs get left behind and a rescue mission is impossible.
Expedition leader Jerry Sheppard (Walker) makes a number of desperate attempts to seek funding for a rescue mission, all to no avail. He has just about given up all hope when, surprisingly for a Disney-funded flick, those closest to him come through for him when all seems to be lost. Meanwhile, back in the freezing Antarctic conditions, the dogs have to try and survive the coldest conditions that they have ever encountered.
The story trundles along and, save for one or two incidents involving a hidden crevasse (and the dodgiest CGI leopard seal ever), there is very little to set pulses racing. As Sheppard slowly comes to realise that he must put as much work into his relationships with humans as he does with his dogs the whole thing becomes increasingly more boring and you just want the dogs to turn on a few of the supporting cast.
Jason Biggs appears every so often in unsuccessful attempts to add some comic relief (I don't know about you, but I grew tired of fear of flying jokes about 10 years ago); Moon Bloodgood plays the role of 'innocent cute girl in a Disney flick' to saccharin-filled perfection while Gerard Plunkett is the scientist that needs to realise that there's more to life than just science itself.
'Eight Below' is hopelessly lost in that it is not childish enough to be a children's movie and not smart enough to be a grown-up movie.