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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Eight Below » User review

Excellent Film

  • Jan 27, 2007
  • by
When this film was released on the big screen, I had no desire to see it. It starred Paul Walker, who, in my opinion, sucks the life out of any role he's handed. I figured that this movie would play up the cuteness of the dogs for the kids and the looks of Walker for the moms in the crowd.

I was wrong.

This is a very good film. Although Walker is billed as the star, he and every other human in this film play second fiddle to the sled dogs in this movie. This tale is about the struggles and dangers faced by eight sled dogs when they are left behind in Antarctica when a storm forces the humans out of the science base they are at. Walker is the guide of the group, and is responsible for the safety of the dogs. When he has to leave them behind, he vows to return for them later. The weather, and funding, have different plans for him.

As the story rolls along, we get to follow the adventures of Maya, Max, Old Jack, and the rest of the sled team as the fend for themselves in the brutal winter of Antarctica. There is a slight lull in the film when the focus is shifted from the dogs and to the attempts of Walker to raise funds to get back to them. Not that Walker or anyone else did a poor job, it just slows the movie down too much.

The human cast does an excellent job despite their limited roles. Along for the ride with Walker are Jason Biggs, Moon Bloodgood, and the ever dependable Bruce Greenwood. All of them give solid, albeit brief, performances that enhance the emotional tone of the film.

*Potential Spoilers*
When you boil down to it, this is an excellent family movie. It does have a couple of scares in it, but nothing most children can't handle if they're above the age of four. In fact, if you and your children watched the recently released "Happy Feet" and survived the seal encounter, there's one scene in particular that might be very scary to the kids in "Eight Below." However, I'd let my five-year-old watch "Eight Below" many times more than "Happy Feet." I think that there's only one cuss word uttered in the flick, and it's nothing too terrible. Your children will also have to deal with the deaths of a couple of the dogs in this film. If they can't handle that sort of thing, you may want to steer clear of this film until they are older.

Highly recommended. It's not a huge family classic, but it definitely deserves a spot on your family's DVD shelf.

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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Despite a likable cast of humans, it's the canine stars who steal the show inEight Below, a terrific live-action adventure in the time-honored Disney tradition. Based on a true story that was previously filmed (much differently) as the 1983 Japanese hitAntarctica, this above-average family film takes place in 1993 and focuses on a dog-sled guide at an Antarctic research station (Paul Walker) who is forced by a severe storm to abandon eight beloved sled dogs for the duration of a harsh Antarctic winter. Left to fend for themselves, the rugged and resourceful dogs encounter danger at every turn, surviving for nearly six months while Walker and his closest colleagues (engagingly played by Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, andAmerican Pie's Jason Biggs) join forces to mount a daring rescue mission. Having endured similarly extreme conditions on his 1993 filmAlive, director Frank Marshall brings an abundance of natural splendor (and minimum use of digital wizardry) to spectacularly arctic locations in Norway, Greenland and Canada, and Walker (star ofThe Fast and the Furious) lends an amiable sincerity to his compassionate role. For most viewers, however, it's the remarkable dogs (six Siberian huskies and two malamutes) who makeEight Belowso thoroughly entertaining. It's not quite an instant family classic, but it comes pretty doggone close.--Jeff Shannon
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