Rating: 3/4 (Must be seen for the eight huskies!)
I am wary of any movie that comes from Walt Disney, but Eight Below was a refreshing surprise! The movie is loosely adapted from a true story of the 1958 Japanese expedition to Antarctica. In Eight Below, Jerry is a guide at a US base in Antarctica. He loves his 8 huskies, who are like family to him. Dr. Davis, a visiting researcher requests him to take him to Mount Melbourne to find a piece of a meteorite. With the conditions not suitable for a vehicle, they venture out on dog sled with the eight huskies. Weather deteriorates on their return journey and when Dr. Davis is hurt, the dogs save his life. On returning back, the humans at the base are forced to fly back leaving the dogs due to worsening weather. The movie deals with the survival (and death) of the huskies through the Antarctic winter of 4 months until Jerry finally finds a way to come back to rescue them.
I could not possibly not like this movie since I have a fascination with Antarctica. Eight Below does not disappoint with some great panoramic views of Antarctica (or at least looks the part). Paul Walker as Jerry gives a strong believable performance. He looks every bit a guide who trusts and loves his dogs to death. But, the real heroes of the movie are the huskies themselves. They have been well chosen, each dog looking distinctively different from the other. It is a testament to their expressive behaviour (or acting) that a commercial movie like this one can have entire long scenes dealing with the survival of the dogs in the middle of nowhere. No humans, no voiceovers and no crazy dog talk. The plot is interesting as long as it focuses on the dogs, and get pretty shaky and weak when it turns to Jerry and his rescue attempts. But overall, Eight Below is a fascinating movie, worth watching for the dogs.