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Somewhat believable if you are from anywhere but Houston
This movie starts off on the wrong foot and never really gets it going. The first scene shows a Life Flight helicopter landing and just outside the window you can distinctly see mountains in the background. For those of you who might not ever have been to Houston there is no elevation change. The city sits just above sea level and a 5 ft. incline is considered a big hill. To go along with that scenery, any shots outside of the hospital immediately tell the viewer that they are not in Houston. The trees are all missing leaves or are pine trees, neither of which Houston has very much of. Even the hospital itself, on the outside, is very unbelievable. Memorial Hermann Hospital is one of the top hospitals in the United States and sits smack dab in the middle of the Medical District just miles from downtown Houston, yet every outside shot of the hospital makes it appear that the hospital is out in the suburbs or even the countryside.
It is obvious that whoever was in charge of the actual tropical storm part of the movie skimped out because the numerous shots of radar are all wrong. The first radar image in the movie is that of Hurrican Hugo hitting South Carolina. We later see Kris Kristofferson leaving his job and one of his assistants tells him that Alison is moving back south across Houston yet the radar image he shows has Alison clearly moving north off of the Gulf of Mexico into Houston...probably the initial landfall of Alison.
As for the acting, it isn't all that bad. JoBeth Williams, Kris Kristofferson and Rick Schroder all do a decent job considering that this is a straight-to-TV movie. The plot of the story is decent and the fact that it is based on a true story makes it a bit more entertaining. My one problem with the acting is the portrayal of Houstonians with big thick Southern accents...the actors all sound like they are from Birmingham, Alabama and not Houston, Texas.
The movie gets its point across and to the general audience it does exactly what it is meant to: entertain. If you are looking for a factual account of what happened to the city of Houston in June of 2001 then you will be disappointed. One thing to keep in mind before viewing this movie is that it is based solely on the evacuation of Memorial Hermann Hospital and not on Tropical Storm Alison and the impact on Houston metro itself. If you are looking for a factual account of Tropical Storm Alison's impact on Houston metro might I suggest watching The Weather Channel's Storm Stories for Tropical Storm Alison.
*1/2 out of *****
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