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  Adrift Bobbing Along
Year: 2006
Director: Hans Horn
Stars: Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr, Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It has been around five years since Amy (Susan May Pratt) got together with some of her old school friends - well, apart from one, James (Richard Speight Jr), who she married and now has a new baby with. To relive old times, a meeting is arranged on aboard the yacht of Dan (Eric Dane), who has made some degree of wealth in the intervening years. Amy is reluctant due to a harrowing incident in the sea when she was a little girl, but donning a lifejacket makes her feel more secure and she walks onto the yacht, preparing for a relaxing time. They all reckon without Dan's foolhardiness...

In some territories Adrift was called Open Water 2, and whether that was to cash in on the low budget sleeper success, or to acknowledge the similarity of plot between the two, is unclear. Whatever, the original was the better film, although like that, this derivative effort made the most of the agoraphobic qualities of being stranded out on the sea and its gleaming photography was one of its true assets. But yes, stranded these six people do become, thanks in the main to Dan's showing off.

He has brought his girlfriend onboard, or rather some girl he has picked up in a bar, whereas the other two couples are very much in love. It is the birthday of Zach (Niklaus Lange) today, so they are all in party mood as they head out into the ocean, far from land and making the mistake of going for a dip because it is so hot. Amy does not join them, being too scared to jump in and besides she has baby Sarah to look after, but Dan has other ideas, grabs her and leaps into the water for a lark.

Some lark: it appears very quickly that he has forgotten to put the ladder down, so there is no way of climbing back aboard. Now they have to work out a way of saving themselves from an apparently impossible situation, but despair grows in their minds faster than any solution to their predicament. As with Open Water, Adrift claims to be based on a true story so that we can get an extra shiver up our spine when we contemplate that this actually happened, but too often director Hans Horn allows the plot to get bogged down in unnecessary melodrama.

So they don't all drown, no, one has to bump his head on the hull and another has to get accidentally stabbed (they brought a knife with them, for all the good it does them), and along with Amy's flashbacks to her earlier sea-based trauma there's a revelation about one of the characters that is so corny you will be rolling your eyes. More effective are the thwarted bids to rescue themselves, so a different boat goes zooming past whose passengers are thinking that they are waving to them, and when they tie their clothes together to make a rope, naturally it snaps at the crucial moment. The acting is serviceable, but there's a sadistic streak that the fillmmakers exploit in the audience that sees us looking down on these characters as fools, rather seeing that there but for the grace of God go I. Music by Gerd Baumann.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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