Sunday, April 23, 2023

Antarctic Journal, Frozen Death

Space exploration and Antarctic exploration have something in common. Both these endeavors represent man trudging into hostile settings with the promise of great discoveries. Unfortunately, over the past 40 years or so, they also have represented man's incompetence an futility. The space program died in the early 1980s when President Reagan's NASA put all its effort into a silly space shuttle program. Antarctic exploration died twenty years later when the world scientific community was hijacked by global warming activists seeking fairy-tale science. Hence today's film from Korea, "Antarctic Journal."
A scientific exploration to the South Pole! the South Pole, but to the Point of Isolation (POI). Reached only once, by the Soviets, in the 1950s, this geographic location is the point in Antarctica furthest away from any of its coasts. World renown climber, Choi Do-hyung (Kang-ho Song) leads five other explorers, on foot, to reach the POI. Choi's history indicates he is the right man for this frigid trek and his guys respect him. The trek will take a couple of months. You guessed it, the expedition heads south pretty quickly...literally and figuratively. 24 hours of sunlight begin playing havoc on the men. A hint of some weird monster occurs and madness slowly sets in.
Dangers are braved and the men must work as a team to keep each other alive. Uh Choi really rock solid, or is he sinking into madness? A journal is found from a failed British expedition from 1920 and the expedition's youngest member Kim Min-jae (Ji-tae Yu) translates it for the men. That expedition also had six men and their leader appears a striking resemblance to Captain Choi. As the pages are turned, less and less of the expedition members seem present. Uh oh...the Korean expedition begins meeting horrific fates. Frostbite, crevasses, and the remains of British explorers play havoc on Korean morale. As more and more details of Captain Choi's backstory are flushed out, we the viewer sense this Korean expedition is toast.
Will our Asian friends reach the POI? Is something monstrous following the expedition southward? What is the Koreans' relationship to the failed British expedition, and are the ghosts also pursuing them? As President Obama mandated NASA to reach out to Islam, and as the entire world has given up on anything worthwhile in space (except satellites that can help send nude photos of ourselves to the other side of the planet), and the 20,000 scientists stationed in Antarctica spend more time partying and tending to moonshine stills, at least Korea has made a nice horror film about the last continent, "Antarctic Journal" (directed by Pil-sung Yim).

No comments:

Post a Comment