A nice family film…though at times I really wanted to throttle a couple of those kids!!

by Martin Hafer

Grethe Bøe-Waal has directed and co-written a film that’s worth your time if you’re looking for a good family flick. And, fortunately, it’s also a movie that won’t irritate the parents…something all too rare with family pictures!

When the story begins, three very young Norwegian siblings are starting a new school. However, by the end of the school day, the trio end up all alone on Half Moon Island…a barren island that, according to Wikipedia (yes, I looked it up), is off limits to most people and is a natural preserve….filled with polar bears, ice and…well, more ice! Is the way they arrived there believable? Not entirely…nor is it easy to accept that no one knows that they are there. For me, however, this was not a major problem After all, in some films you just have to suspend disbelief. What follows is a saga during which the trio fight for their lives against the elements, a shortage of food and a bear that seems quite eager to make their acquaintance! Can the kids escape this frozen prison or are they destined to become three human popsicles or snacks for the bears?

Operation Arctic
Directed by
Grethe Bøe-Waal
Kaisa Gurine Antonsen, Ida Leonora Valestrand Eike, Leonard Valestrand Eike
Release Date
3 August 2016
Martin’s Grade: B+

The story works pretty well and much of it is due to the deft direction by Bøe-Waal. These kids do seem a lot like kids and, while they are resourceful, they are also occasionally stupid (especially the two younger kids) and don’t always have the answers. Some of the film simply relies a bit on luck as well as pluck and determination. And, in addition, the movie has some very tense moments and kept my attention throughout. A perfect family film, no. After all, a couple times I found myself wanting to slap these two kids I just mentioned. But it is a good film and is many ways very reminiscent of the old Australian film, Walkabout.