[Screen It]

 

"EIGHT BELOW"
(2006) (Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate *Minor *Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Moderate Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor *None None Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After being forced to evacuate and leave his dogsled team at a remote Antarctic outpost, a survival guide does whatever he can to get back there and rescue his dogs.
PLOT:
It's January 1993 and winter is fast approaching the National Science Foundation outpost in Antarctica. While the small team there -- led by Dr. Andy Harrison (GERARD PLUNKETT) and including survival guide Jerry Shepard (PAUL WALKER) and cartographer Charlie "Coop" Cooper (JASON BIGGS) -- would normally be getting ready to leave with the approach of winter, their plans are changed when pilot Katie (MOON BLOODGOOD) flies in with geologist Davis McClaren (BRUCE GREENWOOD).

He's searching for a meteorite in a remote section of the continent, but since the ice is still thin, they won't be able to take the snowmobiles there. Instead, Jerry will have to accompany Davis on the expedition where the transportation will come in the form of Jerry's dogsled team. Led by pack matriarch Maya and veteran Old Jack, the rest of the team includes Shorty, Dewey, Truman, Shadow, Buck and the rookie husky, Max.

As they make their way for a remote mountain, an immense winter storm quickly approaches, thus cutting their expedition short. After barely avoiding a catastrophe, Jerry, Davis and the dogs make it back to the base camp. Along with the others, they then receive orders to evacuate, but due to limited space on Katie's plane, they can't take the dogs. Thinking he'll be able to return in a few days, Jerry goes along with the plan, but then learns that everyone is being evacuated off the continent altogether.

Distraught and worried about his dogs that they leashed to a chain at the outpost, Jerry wants to go back to get them, but is overruled and eventually finds himself back in the U.S. From that point on, and as the days, weeks and then months pass, he does what he can to convince anyone to help him get back to Antarctica and try to rescue his dogs.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The dog angle will likely draw many younger ones, while those who are fans of someone in the cast might be interested in it as well.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some peril and brief mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PAUL WALKER plays the remote outpost guide who reluctantly abandons his dogsled team -- which he views as family -- when the humans are ordered to evacuate. He then does what he can and must to get back to Antarctica and rescue any of the survivors. He still has a thing for Katie with whom he had some sort of relationship in the past.
  • JASON BIGGS plays his friend at the outpost, a cartographer who assists him on his quest.
  • BRUCE GREENWOOD plays the geologist who gets Jerry and his dogsled team to help hunt for a meteorite in a remote section of Antarctica. He later joins Jerry on his rescue mission.
  • MOON BLOODGOOD plays the pilot who evacuates the team and then flies most of them back in to look for the dogs.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are uttered. Some guys are briefly seen shirtless while there's a brief kiss (male/female) at the end of the film. A person falls and apparently breaks their leg, while a dog later falls and succumbs to its injuries, while a leopard seal grabs one of the dogs and injures it.

    Those scenes and other moments of peril (including a jump scene -- where a leopard seal suddenly pops out of a gross-looking whale carcass right at the camera -- that rivals the head popping out of the boat scene from "Jaws") may be rather intense and/or suspenseful to younger kids who will also likely worry about the dogs' survival (a few of the huskies don't make it). Older kids will likely have less of such a reaction to the material. Beyond that, a few characters briefly drink.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jerry asks Katie if she wants a drink, she says yes, but then comments on him giving her a soft drink, with him saying that's all he has.
  • We see glasses of wine on tables at a reception. Later, Jerry has a beer, while Davis orders and then carries a scotch on the rocks.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see what look like drops of blood on the snow and Jerry then goes to tend to one of the dog's paws that has a tiny bit of blood on it.
  • We see a beached and dead killer whale that's frozen but has obviously been partially eaten and chewed up (we see meaty holes in various parts of it).
  • Some of the dogs pull partially frozen meat off the above killer whale carcass.
  • A dog has a little blood on its leg after a leopard seal grabs and bites it there.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some may see the chaining of the dogs to one line outside as a huge winter storm approaches as being a bad attitude, but Jerry (who loves the dogs dearly) is the one who does this to them (he later spends the rest of the film trying to get back to them).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Kids of different ages will likely respond differently to the following material, with younger ones possibly finding it quite suspenseful, while older ones will likely see it less so that way.
  • As Jerry and Davis head off by themselves on the dogsled, Jerry positions the dogs side to side rather than front to bank in case the ice breaks and one goes in. They then proceed, with Jerry walking ahead and testing the depth of the snow and/or ice, with Davis serving as the brakeman on the back of the sled. Then, suddenly, the sled and Davis fall back into a deep hole that opens beneath them (no water involved). Jerry then races to get the dogs to pull Davis and the sled out before Davis falls in to his likely death. As they succeed, Davis is yanked out and lands hard on the snow/ice.
  • Jerry and Davis get word that two big storms are approaching and they'll have to abort their mission. Later, they get word that the storms have picked up in speed and intensity.
  • Davis goes off the "trail" that Jerry has forged, causing the latter to tell the former to freeze as he goes to pick up a rock. We think something's going to happen to Davis, but he returns without anything occurring.
  • Davis accidentally ends up falling over the edge of a steep, icy hill and goes sliding down it, landing hard on the ice below (he states that he thinks he broke his leg). As Jerry prepares to help him, both hear and then see the ice below Davis cracking and it quickly gives way beneath him, sending him into the icy water. Jerry then races to get two of his dogs to help, all as Davis flails about in the freezing water, with the ice around him breaking as he tries to grab it. Jerry then sends one of the dogs out toward the hole with a lifeline (it creeps along to deliver it), eventually getting it over Davis's head. Jerry then has the two dogs pull out Davis (with the rope seemingly near strangling him -- it's against his neck on one side and under his arm on the other). Jerry then races to pack up Davis and get him back to base camp, all as the storm worsens. When they finally arrive, Davis looks bad, as do Jerry's blackened fingertips (from frostbite).
  • Jerry has Coop help him tie the dogs to a chain outdoors in a bad storm as they're preparing to evacuate the base to get Davis and Jerry medical care at a distant facility (thus kids will worry about the dogs).
  • Later, Jerry gets news that no one will be going back to the camp (where the dogs are still tied to a chain outside in the storm) for months since the continent is being evacuated before winter sets in.
  • One by one, six of the dogs break free from the chain, leaving two still stuck there (including the oldest dog). Later, the seventh dog gets lose, but the oldest dog doesn't try and seems doomed.
  • The dogs jump and try to chase the Aurora Australis (the "southern lights"), with one then accidentally falling down a steep slope and then lying there, whimpering. Later, that dog is dead in the snow and the other dogs try to rouse it, but obviously can't. The youngest dog then stays with the body, but then tries to find the team. Yet, it can't in the blinding snowstorm, and thus is on its own (we think it's doomed, but it's not).
  • As the days wear on with the dogs on their own, some younger viewers might become increasingly unsettled by the dogs' seemingly diminishing chances of survival.
  • We see a beached and dead killer whale that's frozen but has obviously been partially eaten and chewed up (we see meaty holes in various parts of it). As the youngest dog approaches the carcass to eat, a huge and scary looking leopard seal suddenly pops out of the killer whale, makes loud noises, bares its sharp teeth and chases away the dog.
  • Later, that same dog returns to the carcass, yanks off a piece of meat and then takes off running. The angry leopard seal then dives down through its hole and races after the dog (it's underwater and we can see the shadow of the dog on the ice above it). Thus, we think -- especially when the dog stops on the ice -- that the seal is going to blast through the ice and get the dog. Instead, it pops up back at the carcass (where the other dogs are now feeding on it) and grabs one by the leg, injuring that dog. The others come to its rescue, jumping on and biting the seal until it flees the scene. The dogs tend to their wounded leader and lick the wound, and we later see that dog walking with a severe limp.
  • A large ice cutter gets stuck in some thick ice, thus seeming to stop the team's return to Antarctica to try to find the dogs (kids will worry that they've failed).
  • Jerry unearths the paw of one of the dead dogs in the snow (we only see the frozen paw).
  • The leader dog appears to have died in the snow (and we think this for several minutes), even as Jerry and the others finally arrive. As he and the other rescued dogs are about to leave, the rookie dog leads Jerry back to the body of the leader, but after a few sad moments, the leader dog moves and Jerry then carries it back to the base camp and all is well.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You scared the hell out of me," "Sure as hell," "Shut up" (said playfully), "What the hell?" "Sweet," "You're the man" and "Payback is a dish best served cold."
  • We see Jerry and Coop shirtless in a sauna where they get the temperature up quite high before running out into the snow dressed the same way (they have on pants).
  • While playing poker with the others, Coop has something in his hand and mouth that he treats like a cigar, but there's no tobacco or smoking involved (he's just imitating the motions).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • We see a beached and dead killer whale that's frozen but has obviously been partially eaten and chewed up (we see meaty holes in various parts of it). As the youngest dog approaches the carcass to eat, a huge and scary looking leopard seal suddenly pops out of the killer whale, right at the dog (and thus at the camera -- this is a big and unexpected jump scene).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous and dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 hells and 1 use of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Jerry and Coop shirtless in a sauna where they get the temperature up quite high before running out into the snow dressed the same way (they have on pants).
  • Davis' wife briefly shows a little bit of cleavage.
  • Jerry and Katie briefly, but passionately kiss at the very end of the movie.
  • SMOKING
  • While playing poker with the others, Coop has something in his hand and mouth that he treats like a cigar, but there's no tobacco or smoking involved (he's just imitating the motions).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Antarctica.
  • Dogsled teams and how the dogs survive the bitter cold.
  • Why Jerry and Coop tie the dogs to one chain before departing (thus leaving the dogs exposed to the storm with no cover).
  • Jerry's determination and perseverance to get back to and rescue his dogs.
  • The comment that you have to take chances for things you care about.
  • Frostbite.
  • The comment that sometimes you just have to lower your expectations.
  • VIOLENCE
  • After Coop accidentally hits Davis on the head by pulling his mattress off his bunk and down to the floor, Jerry jokingly steps several times on Coop to get into his bunk and then throws a boot down onto him.
  • Davis accidentally ends up falling over the edge of a steep, icy hill and goes sliding down it, landing hard on the ice below (he states that he thinks he broke his leg).
  • The dogs ambush and kill several birds (jumping in the air and snatching them with their jaws). We then see them eating them, pulling off some meat, but there's no blood.
  • A leopard seal grabs one dog by the leg, injuring it. The others come to its rescue, jumping on and biting the seal until it flees the scene.



  • Reviewed February 1, 2006 / Posted February 17, 2006

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.