Plot of the Movie "Whiteout"

by Jim Orrill
Antarctica: Not a great place to be stalked by a killer.

Antarctica: Not a great place to be stalked by a killer.

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"Whiteout" is a 2009 film adaption of a graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is burnt out from her years of service and her assignment at a remote Antarctic base, but she has one last challenge, and it could be lethal. "Whiteout" stars Kate Beckinsale as Stetko, with support from Gabriel Macht as Robert Pryce, a shadowy special agent, and Tom Skerritt as John Fury, the base physician.

72 Hours to Evac

As Stetko makers her rounds, staffers are cavorting in the halls, celebrating the end of their assignments. In 72 hours, winter will set in with an accompanying whiteout, a particularly severe and dangerous blizzard. After that, nobody can get in or out for six months. Cavorting isn't in Stetko's nature, but she's glad to be leaving.

We've Found a Popsicle

A fellow staffer tells Stetko they've found a "popsicle," which is wacky Antarctic station lingo for a corpse. Stetko gets Delfy, the base pilot, to fly her to the scene and finds the body of a geologist. The pair return him to the station, where she and Dr. Fury discover the man died from an ax wound to the chest. This does not bode well.

Meet the Hatchet Man

Stetko and Delfy fly to the geologists' base where Stetko enters their cabin, removing her gloves to examine the scene. She finds another dead scientist and is jumped by the killer, barely eluding death by racing outside and darting into another cabin. Stetko locks herself inside, but she's got a new problem: Grabbing a metal door handle with bare skin in subzero temperatures is a bad idea and painful, and it cost Stetko most of the skin from two fingers.

Expedition to the Dig Site

Delfy and Stetko reunite and find Special Agent Pryce investigating the scene, and the trio decide to investigate the geologists' dig site. They discover a cargo plane and an empty lockbox, which seems to be missing six of the cylinders it held. After a harrowing cave-in and suitably daring escape, they return to the base, where Fury amputates Stetko's frostbitten fingers. Freshly maimed and thoroughly shell-shocked, Stetko meets Rubin, the last of the geological team, who tells her that his associates found something valuable in the lockbox's cylinders.

Killer's Endgame

The attacker reappears, putting an end to further exposition by killing Rubin. Stetko clocks him with a shovel and discovers he's Russell Haden, one of the base's staffers. Haden escapes, forcing Stetko and Pryce to pursue him into a raging whiteout. Pryce cuts the guide rope Haden had tethered himself to, sending him skidding out into the deadly storm, and the pair return station to examine Haden's bags. They find the cylinders, but they're filled with nothing but jelly beans.

Spoiler: How Could You

Stetko investigates the bodies in Fury's office and discovers bags of diamonds sewn into a geologist's corpse. She turns and finds Fury in the room with her, and he admits his involvement in the scheme. Fury's not too crazy about the prospect life in prison, so he goes outside without protective gear. "Whiteout" then jumps ahead six months, just as the station's new crew is about to arrive. Stetko sends a fax to her commander, rescinding her resignation and asking for a warmer post.

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