Review: The Impossible (2012)

The Impossible Poster

“After that, when I came up, I was on my own. That was the scariest part.”
– Henry Bennett

Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor) and his wife, Maria (Naomi Watts) are happily married and living in Japan with their three sons, Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast), and are on a lovely Christmas vacation in Thailand. Their room was incorrect, but the ever helpful Thai hotel employee shifts them into a luxury suite closer to the ocean. Their peaceful holiday starts and is progressing wonderfully.

The Impossible Family
When such a wonderful vacation can be snatched away so quickly

On December 26 2004, the family goes to the pool with most of the other holiday makers at the resort. They are having a blast when a roar and a rumble takes on everybody’s attention. Before they know it, a massive tsunami rolls through the resort. The family is ripped apart, and when Maria surfaces, she cannot find anyone. Soon she spots her eldest son, Lucas, and the two make a desperate attempt to get to each other. Maria is badly injured, and Lucas is heartbroken. Locals eventually pick them up after they rescue another little boy called Daniel (Johan Sundberg) and escort them to the overcrowded hospitals. In the hospitals, Maria seriously needs surgery, and she sends Lucas off to do something, to help people. So he begins to go through the tsunami victims, trying to bring families together again. Lucas has taken it for granted that his father and brothers are dead.

The Impossible Tsunami
The start of the tsunami that caused immense damage

Meanwhile, Henry has recovered Simon and Thomas, and desperately wants to find Maria and Lucas. He starts his journey, while Maria and Lucas are on their own. Will the family be able to find each other, and will they all survive a paradise vacation turned sour? Will they make it out of Thailand alive, together as a family again?

The Impossible
Sticking together

I would give The Impossible 5.5/10. It just didn’t grip me (yep, I can see I am going to Hell for that). The event was truly disastrous and absolutely terrible, and the movie itself was not a bad depiction, there was just something wrong with the way that it was told. The movie got me, and at the same time it lost me. There was a lot that had me thinking if the director just implemented it differently, the movie might have felt a bit more whole and complete. This family was by far the luckiest family I have seen in a long time, and I am glad that things worked out so well for them. Another thing the movie got was the total terror that a tsunami brings, and the aftermath was shown quite well (such as the hospitals, what places looked like, etc.) I can only imagine the fear and the horror that a natural disaster like that can bring, and I would not wish to experience something like that. You really think about how lucky you are when you watch the film, I will most definitely give it that. I don’t think I will be watching it again in a hurry, or buying it.

13 thoughts on “Review: The Impossible (2012)

  1. Nice write up. I enjoyed The Impossible but I did think it was a little manipulative in trying to make the audience burst into tears or whatever. It’s also nowhere near as effective second time round so I wouldn’t worry about not seeing it again any time soon!


    1. Thank you! You are completely right about how they wanted to shift your perception, they were deliberate about it. Well, thanks for informing me a second time does not change the outlook!


  2. Very good and fair review! I really bought into the story although the ‘on the nose’ ending was eye-rolling. I can see where this movie would get a wide variety of reactions.


    1. Thanks Keith! My friend loved this movie a lot and insisted it be our movie night pick winner, but it just had something that felt off…


  3. I haven’t seen it yet because I can’t stand Ewan McGregor but one thing I don’t like is that it’s based on the true story of a Spanish family but the film changes then to British. Seems kind of pointless


    1. I do understand your sentiments. I was also a bit shocked to find the whole Spanish family suddenly became Brits. I was very much in that boat when I watched Valkyrie, and due to the whole film being about the Germans and the Third Reich, I was disgusted that there were only British and American actors. I didn’t even finish it.


  4. A really moving movie for me which stunned me. Although it might have been a bit too manipulative towards the end it currently is my favorite movie of the year.


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