DVD review from The Movie Snob
Dead Calm (C-). With the lovely Nicole Kidman’s 42d birthday less than a month away, there’s no better time than the present to cozy up with one of her films. I had not seen this one before, and I was not particularly impressed. A married couple played by Kidman (Margot at the Wedding) and Sam Neill (The Dish) are sailing across the Pacific in their fine yacht when they come across a derelict schooner. A delirious young man played by Billy Zane (BloodRayne) rows over to their boat from the derelict raving that everybody else on board his boat is dead from food poisoning. Neill’s character astutely rows back over to check out the death ship while the crazy guy is asleep. Turns out Zane’s character is a homicidal maniac, and he wakes up in time to take off with Neill’s yacht, his wife, and his little dog too. Neill goes into pursuit as best he can on his sinking tub. After that, it’s a pretty typical cat-and-mouse thriller with some typical stupidity on the parts of the good guys. Even Nic’s loveliness can’t keep this movie from capsizing.