Blu-ray Review: Adrift

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormakur | CAST: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 4, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $17.96, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $22.99
BONUSES: commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes,
SPECS: PG-13 | 100 min. | Adventure drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish and English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video  | Overall

Shailene Woodley (Snowden) and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) get put through the ringer in the adventure film Adrift, based on a true story from 1983.

The pair portrays Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin), two lovers who ambitiously set out to sail a 44-foot yacht from Tahiti to San Diego. They are less than three weeks into their 4,000-mile trip when they sail into a Category 4 hurricane, trashing the boat and leaving Sharp badly injured. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength, skills and determination to save them both.

Director Baltasar Kormáku, who helmed the icy 2015 survival flick Everest moves from snow to sea for Adrift, setting some very solid set-ups in capturing the isolation, heat and sense of hopelessness of being stranded in the middle of the ocean for what eventually became 41 days. The sequences when the storm hits (Hurricane Raymond, which was one the strongest tropical cyclones of the 1989 Pacific hurricane season) are pretty damned hair-raising, as well.

The performances are fine, with Woodley looking appropriately bedraggled and beaten as the days turn into weeks. And she acquits herself well as her mind begins to play tricks on her and her determination morphs into occasional delirium.

The bonus package is only so-so, with two very brief and not very consequential deleted scenes and a pair of short, generic EPK-styled featurettes. But there is a feature-length commentary with director Kormákur and Ms. Woodley that delivers some more engaging info, led by Shailene offering that she was “miserable” as she dieted furiously and shed some serious weight for the final scenes of the movie wherein her character has been starving at sea for nearly six weeks.

Buy or Rent Adrift

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.