Just Floating Along: A Review of "Adrift"


The new film Adrift is based on a true story of a blossoming relationship that quickly turns into a life-or-death struggle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin) and Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) are a young couple in love. When the adventuresome pair get an opportunity to pilot a boat across the Pacific Ocean, they jump in with both feet. 

Weather is always a concern with such journeys, but the pair have no idea they will be sailing into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

And that hurricane has a swift and devastating impact on the couple. Richard is swept overboard. When Tami finds him floating, she frantically pulls Richard back to the confines of the boat. This sets in motion the remainder of our journey, told through a mixture of the present struggle and flashbacks to a happy time for the couple. 

Survival will take each of them out of their comfort zones, and the strength Tami and Richard need to survive will be found within themselves and each other. But can they complete the daunting journey that faces them?

I knew very little about the story Adrift is based on when I sat down with the film. I knew to expect a longer time at sea than Gilligan's "three-hour tour", and with a lot less humor. I did expect an adventure-laden journey against the elements. But in reality this is a serious romantic struggle for survival, and romance trumps all other elements.

Woodley, who usually seems to elevate everything she does, just meanders through her time on the water. When she has scenes of bubbly personality, she is likable, but much of her screen time is on the boat with Claflin after the storm. Sure it's the nature of the story, but this film seems to wander without a compass to guide it during the couple's time lost at sea.

Situations feel slapped together and refuse to give us a more in-depth glimpse into the journey at hand. Instead of enhancing the story that at its core seemed really interesting, this trip seems lost at sea.

I really respect the true tale that is the basis for Adrift, but the story deserves more than just floating along. 

Paul's Grade: C


Rated PG-13

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer 

Director: Baltasar Kormákur


Just Floating Around Adrift -- Opens June 1

Hereditary -- Opens June 8

Hotel Artemis -- Opens June 8

Ocean's 8 -- Opens June 8

Won't You Be My Neighbor? -- Opens June 8



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Hotel Artemis

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Stars: Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella 

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Won't You Be My Neighbor?

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