The will to survive is showcased in Roar Uthaug’s The Wave (Bølgen), a natural disaster thriller about an avalanche that triggers a tsunami in a fjord. The story centers on a family on the eve of their departure from a tourist mountain town facing the fjord. The mother (Ane Dahl Torp) works the concierge desk at the town’s hotel, the father (Kristoffer Joner) is a geologist who gets a hunch that something’s wrong with the rocks. As disaster movies go, The Wave is modest, taking out merely a town rather than half of the world. Walls of water, which usually look iffy when rendered in CGI, are rather spectacular here. The most gripping part of The Wave is the aftermath, as mother and son (Jonas Hoff Oftebro) try to stave off a drowning pool à la Titanic. Otherwise, The Wave hits all the usual beats and tropes—death, destruction, and a bombastic score to boot.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White