Thank God Shailene Woodley got out of doing those Divergent movies. She deserves a chance to really shine.
Adrift tells the true story of a young couple who are given the opportunity to sail across the Pacific in the 1980s. After a hurricane all but destroys their boat, they attempt to navigate to Hawaii with what is left of the boat and no way to communicate with anyone.
The story behind this movie is actually pretty fascinating. Unfortunately the movie’s execution lets it down. That isn’t to say it is a bad movie, necessarily. The performances by both the leads are solid. Like I said, the story keeps you intrigued. The depiction of being stranded at sea is done really well, as is the terrifying portrayal of the hurricane hitting. You can easily empathize with their loneliness and their struggle to survive.
The main problem with the movie is its narrative structure. It would work best as a linear story, but instead uses time jumps to go back and forth between events before the hurricane and after. The time we spend in each scene is wildly different, from just a few seconds to upwards of 20 minutes. Every time the movie gets locked in, it time jumps. It prevents it from really having a focus. It also stops you from really being able to get attached to the characters and their relationship, as it is not built enough before the time jumps, and instead is built simultaneously with the future events. It creates a weird dynamic and took me out of the movie. Because of how much this took me out of the movie, its 90 minute runtime really drags on.
I’m clearly not the target audience for this movie, but I still managed to enjoy it a decent amount. However, it had the potential to be better. It is a good date night movie, but that is the extent I would recommend needing to see it in theaters. It’ll serve just fine as a cable movie when it comes out. Adrift gets a 3/5.