The Impossible (2012) | Movie review

The Impossible 2012 film movie poster large

Spanish title: Lo Imposible
Classification: P13
Genre: Disaster drama
Running Time: 114 minutes
Director: J. A. Bayona
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts

Synopsis: “The real-life account of a family’s horrific ordeal, vacationing at a beach resort in Thailand when the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 hit. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts are the husband and wife, and Tom Holland, 14 at the time of production, is the oldest of their three boys (and amazing in a physically and emotionally demanding role). A daunting tale of survival, and family, from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphange)” (GSC Movies).

Verdict: An exploitation film that’s very well produced with highly commendable acting performance by the leads (but not so much from the others), and brilliant makeup effects. The Impossible is a Spanish production that’s based on the true horrific but inspiring tsunami experience of a Spanish family. However, because of that, the production certainly deserves to be criticised for changing the Spanish characters to English just so that they could tap into a wider target market. The brief appearance of Naomi Watts’ left nipple is probably unnecessary as well. Thus it is, ultimately, an exploitation movie. But since it apparently follows exactly what really happened, I shall not accuse the film for being “dramatised” or “predictable”.

Favourite line from another critic: “The movie is about how one of the worst disasters to ever visit Thailand was really tough on the English” (Daniel M. Kimmel).

Malaysian censorship: There are indeed scenes may be censored but films distributed by GSC Movies are usually left fully uncut. However, we don’t need to watch this at the cinema ’cause the film was officially
released in Spain months ago and the online streaming was already
available in HD.

Imagine the Japanese pronouncing the title… IMPOSSIBLUR. That’d put off the mood a bit.

Rating: 3 / 5 (See Ratings Guide)


What wasn’t shown: How Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor) and his two kids survive the wave without any serious injury. There’s only one short scene where he explains where he found the children but not detailed. So what’s the point of showing his side of the story but incompletely? Ran out of budget?

Oscar watch: Every scene of Maria Bennett (Naomi Watts) in pain is so convincing that even I felt it while watching. Watts is indeed a strong contender for the Best Actress Award in the coming 85th Academy Awards.

Least favourite scene: The ending where Henry finally gets to the right hospital where Maria and their kids are at. The whole scene is so draggy, predictable, convenient and Chinese TV series-styled that it almost destroyed the entire film for me.


Naomi Watts the impossible
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  1. HenRy LeE

    downloaded it already but I'm not gonna give in any high expectation in this movie. Heard the visual effects were quite good tho but if only the plots are logical then it will make it a good movie 🙂

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