All Is Lost proves that ‘life on the ocean wave’ isn’t just a jaunty song, it’s a fact for the main character in this film, played by Robert Redford, whose character doesn’t have a name other than ‘Our Man’ and who we meet, narrating his imminent demise as he has barely any food left.
The film then goes back to 8 days earlier when we see what caused this – a huge shipping container, from out of nowhere, has struck his boat and is causing water to gush inside, all over his electronic equipment, so that will present its own problems.
Our Man, is basically, up shit creek… but for now, he still has a paddle.
What follows with him on his boat, the Virginia Jean, is his battle when everything that can go wrong does go wrong as well as the exhausting tasks of repairing the boat while pumping out the water, and just the sheer effort to keep going under such circumstances.
Those involved with the special effects have done a perfect job making the whole experience seem very realistic, especially when it comes to him simply being in the middle of the Indian Ocean, as well as the times he’s in the boat and at the mercy of the destruction that’s happened to it.
There’s one or two moments where things do tend to drag a little, but for the most part it keeps the pace going well, and it’s also a rare film which starts at the right point and ends at the right point, not tacking on superfluous waffle at either end like so many Hollywood films do these days.
You could ask why a man of 77 is out there alone at sea, but clearly this is a pet project for Redford and he has a love of all things nautical, something of which I know very little about but this also adds to how it makes for intriguing viewing as I’m learning along the way. Hence, when the film opens by stating he is “1700 Nautical Miles from the Sumatra Straits”, I had no idea what these words mean, but later on it all became be clear.
Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.