Title: 13-04-2022: Tsunami
Should be Known As: The Day After Thaimorrow
Genre: Action, Adventure
Starring: Pisan Srimankong, Sirinda Jensen, Panudej Wattanasuchat, Suchao Pongwilai
Director: Toranong Srichua
Finding information about this film seems to be pretty tricky; IMDB has no recollection of it and neither does google – beyond a few handy links to download the thing – yet this doesn't have the feel of a no-budget craptastic feature, and much of the cinematography looks well done if perhaps lacking from a Hollywood budget which becomes particularly noticeable when the CGI emerges. There are also clearly some hefty similarities to “The Day After Tomorrow,” but given that I never actually watched that film, i'll make no claim as to just how much was 'inspired' by it. My logic for watching this and missing the original, however, is quite simple: take cute Thai Women and add water. Pretty hard to get wrong right?
Step One: Make sure everyone is dry as a bone for 90% of the film.
Step Two: Show more superfluous male nudity than female.
Step Three: Make a good portion of the film have nothing to do with Tsunami's at all.
Three easy steps to destroying all my hopes for the film, even if it still didn't make it quite as awful as it perhaps could have been. It certainly feels very 'inspired' by Western cinema; from the pointless scene involving the saving of Mai Tai, a dolphin which had almost a “Free Willy” vibe to it, to the Prime Minister making a grandiose speech just falling short of saying “Today we celebrate our Independence Day,” except about nature, which would have fitted in nicely with the rest of the tree hugging morals we're bludgeoned with. So much time is consumed with side stories that they never manage to fully flesh out, instead making it feel more like a method of padding out the films run time; Ruus the lovable chimp is forgotten after 15 minutes, the villagers revolting about a corrupt drug lord building a casino on their island having nothing to do with anything, except that he is the son of a politician vying to take over from the Prime Minister faced with dealing with the imminent threat.
Even when we get to the scientists, many of which seeming to be the equivalent of a major band's dumb blonde roadies blindly following their 'gifted scientist' trying to predict the Tsunami, despite having gotten it dead wrong three times in a row and treating nature as some sort of malevolent force punishing humanity making me feel none too confident in his deduction capabilities. The fact it takes so long for it to hit makes me wonder if he got it wrong a fourth time (how would that be for a twist!) but alas, no. This leaves us with only the researcher who has weird Tsunami visions of the past that never truly get explained (except that he's debilitatingly traumatised by them) being the only saving grace for providing some sort of action in the drawn out events leading to the actual disaster.
The almost complete destruction of many European countries by ice and a gigantic earthquake in Indonesia, again destroying most of the country remain off hand remarks never elaborated on except as a way of saying “Oh shit, we're next.” For a disaster movie far too much time is spent trying to turn it into a film about crime and politics to the point that often the purpose of the film seems to have been forgotten. They've tried to include so much that nothing becomes explored in any kind of depth and it all seems rather pointless. In trying to re-create a bad Hollywood disaster flick they've created a bad Thai disaster flick; no better and no worse, and I guess on reflection that's all I should really have hoped for.
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1) I am aware of the Thai's cultural reverence and respect for nature, believing in its power and treating it in a somewhat deific manner so I'm not against it's implication from many of the characters. It simply doesn't mix well with science.