Canada stands in for Antarctica. Well, why not, Canadian snow is just as cold as any. We see lots of snow here, which makes sense, but the director did not solve the problem of how to distinguish among three people in huge parkas fighting in a blizzard, as in the climactic scene. I had no idea who was doing what to whom … and the sad thing is, I didn’t care much. It’s just not much of a thriller. When that happens you find yourself obsessing about the details. Like:
What sets the plot in motion is the discovery, way out in the middle of nowhere, of a mostly crushed dead man. (It takes them a ridiculously long time to figure out he’d been dumped from an airplane.) Now, Antarctica is vast. Other than penguins, there’s almost no one there at all. Highly unlikely that a plane would ever fly over that body, or if it did, that anyone would see it.
They find a Russian plane that crashed 50 years ago. It’s buried about ten feet deep. Another thing Antarctica is, is dry. Driest continent on Earth. It would take centuries to bury a plane that deep in new snow. I can see blowing snow piling up around it, but not burying it.
This may be a legend, but it rings true to me … It’s not a good idea to bring a bottle of vodka in from a –50-degree environment and then take a deep swig of it. Most vodka sold in America is 80 proof: 40% alcohol. Even that probably wouldn’t freeze at –50 F (alcohol freezes at –173.2 F), but most Russian vodka is a lot stronger, up to 95%. Whatever the case, chug-a-lugging a liquid at –50 would freeze the lining of your throat and probably kill you. This happens in Drop City, by T.C. Boyle.