Title: The Surface
Director: Gil Cates, Jr.
Writer: Jeff Gendelman
Cast: Sean Astin, Mimi Rogers, Chris Mulkey
Running time: 86min, Not Rated (language)
Special Features: Trailer; Inland Seas – Understanding and Protecting the Waters of the Great Lakes (Documentary 42min); Composer’s Session Featurette (10min); “Anytime You Like” Music Video by Familiar Looking Strangers; Deleted Scenes (x3-90 seconds); Photo Gallery; Mental Health Resource Information; Audio Commentary with Director Gil Cates Jr., Writer Jeff Gendelman, Actors Sean Astin and Chris Mulkey
Mitch (Sean Astin) is packing up a boat to take out on Lake Michigan. He comes upon some plane wreckage and finds a lone survior Kelly (Chris Mulkey). The wreckage knocks off the rotor and the two are stranded miles from shore. Kelly is severely wounded and clutching a red backpack that he was commissioned to deliver at his first stop. The two get acquainted as they slowly drift toward shore, hoping to catch the eye of a fellow boater or plane. Mitch reveals that this boat trip was going to be his last voyage, as he struggles with the loss of his father, girlfriend and his mother’s Alzheimers. Kelly in his gruff exterior longs to see his wife and children and teaches Mitch that even in the darkest of moments, there’s always something to live for.
The Good: A dream for those into dialogue heavy dramas with a feel good ending.
The Bad: This snooze-fest is like a self-fellating promotional film produced by the US Coast Guard and the Michigan Parks department, or what have you. The story is very simple with a lackluster, Hallmark channel ending. The film’s trailer made this look like a completely different film, full of action and intrigue. What we got was two dudes talking on a boat, eating rice crispy treats and having flashbacks of their mundane lives and some really awful personal tragedies.
The “Music Video” on the DVD is just a live camcorder at concert shot intercut with scenes from the film that don’t really go with the song. The 42 minute documentary on Lake Michigan was super boring. I didn’t even want to sit through the audio commentary, because nothing they could say would make this film more exciting.
The only laugh you’ll get is Chris Mulkey’s character describing his handicapped dog reacting to a fart. If that’s the best thing they come up with as a lighthearted moment, you might want to pass.
Total Rating: D
Reviewed by: JM Willis