Watch Tidal Wave: No Escape
- 1 hr 31 min
In the 1997 disaster movie Tidal Wave: No Escape, a gigantic tsunami threatens to destroy an idyllic coastal town, and a group of survivors must band together to find a way to save themselves and their loved ones. The movie stars Corbin Bernsen (of L.A. Law fame) as John Wahl, a city planner who has to navigate the complexities of building codes and safety regulations when he realizes the extent of the danger. Julianne Phillips (a former model and actress known for her roles in Sisters and Fletch Lives) plays Laura Graham, an architect who helps John analyze the structural integrity of the town's buildings. Gregg Henry (who has appeared in numerous television shows and movies, including The Killing and Guardians of the Galaxy) is Harry Stanton, a corrupt businessman who puts his own interests ahead of those of the community.
The movie begins with an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean that triggers a massive wave that heads straight for the small coastal town of Port Alec. John and Laura are two of the first people to realize the danger, and they quickly try to warn the town's officials and residents. But many people are skeptical, including the town's mayor, who is more interested in protecting his tourist economy than in saving lives. Meanwhile, Harry takes advantage of the chaos by trying to sell off his properties before the wave hits.
As the wave gets closer, John and Laura team up with a local lifeguard named Hunter (played by Frankie Ray) to try to evacuate as many people as possible. They also try to reinforce the town's buildings and set up emergency shelters, all while fighting against the clock and the forces of nature. But when the wave finally hits, it's even bigger and more destructive than anyone had imagined, and the survivors are faced with even more challenges.
One of the strengths of Tidal Wave: No Escape is its focus on the science and mechanics of tsunamis. The movie takes the time to explain how tsunamis are formed, how they travel across bodies of water, and how they can cause massive destruction even miles inland. This scientific detail adds a sense of realism and tension to the movie, as we see characters trying to calculate the wave's trajectory and anticipate its impact. There's also a sense of awe and wonder in the scenes where we see the wave building and approaching, as the camera captures the sheer scale and power of the natural disaster.
Another strength of the movie is its cast. Corbin Bernsen anchors the film with his portrayal of John, a man who is both knowledgeable and passionate about his work. He brings a sense of urgency and determination to the role, making it clear that he cares deeply about the people he's trying to save. Julianne Phillips is also strong as Laura, a smart and resourceful woman who is able to hold her own in a male-dominated profession. She and John have a fun and flirty dynamic that adds some levity to the otherwise tense situation. Gregg Henry is appropriately slimy as Harry, a man who is more interested in money than in human life. He makes for a satisfying antagonist, as we root for him to get his comeuppance.
Overall, Tidal Wave: No Escape is a solid disaster movie that delivers on both spectacle and heart. Its commitment to scientific accuracy, its strong cast, and its themes of community and sacrifice make it a memorable entry in the genre.
Tidal Wave: No Escape is a 1997 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.9.