After being caught in a hurricane, Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) finds herself up shit creek on a severely damaged yacht and with her injured boyfriend, Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin). And by creek, we mean ocean. Even if she had a paddle, it wouldn’t do her any good because the two of them are so far off course that they are nowhere close to shipping lanes or flightpaths. Nightmarish doesn’t quite cover their predicament.
Based on a true story, Adrift does a good job of capturing the desperation the couple must have felt. Especially Woodley delivers a strong physical performance. That is no diss towards Claflin. But other than laying around and looking like he’s in pain, he honestly doesn’t have a lot to contribute.
Much of the scenes that follow are similar to ones you have already seen in other movies: there are things that need to be fixed in order to get the boat to a working order, fish that need to be caught and other storms that also need surviving. All this is split up with scenes of the two of them meeting and falling in love, which help break up the bleakness while also covering up the sudden shifts forward in time. Unfortunately, they aren’t all that interesting to watch.
Adrift is not a bad movie, but it only barely manages to stay afloat. The fact that we have already seen better movies with a similar story, doesn’t really help either.