It’s easy to compare Fukushima 50, the film, to the award laden Chernobyl,
the 2019 TV series, as both have very similar themes. However don’t be
fooled as Fukushima 50 is no Chernobyl.
Fukushima 50 brings to the screen the dramatisation of the true events of
11th March 2011 when a tsunami, set off by an earthquake
offshore, swamped the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, in Japan. With
water in the plant the electrical supply was soon cut leading to a loss of
power to the plants pumps that fed the cooling water to the reactors.
Much like in Chernobyl it’s left to the plants employees, led by the head
of the power plant (Ken Watanabe), to try and save the plant and the
surrounding area from the impending nuclear disaster.
Whereas Chernobyl was gripping edge of your seat stuff it’s a mystery how
the makers of Fukushima 50 have managed to turn something that should be so
exciting into a hard slog. Action is pretty scarce on the ground, a scene
where staff have to enter the radiative plant in order to open some valves
being one of the only bits of excitement in its 2 hour running time. For
the rest of the time everyone appears to disagree with, and shout loudly
at, each other. Even the Japanese Prime Minister appears to have lost the
plot and on one occasion slaps a subordinate across the back of the head,
or maybe that’s how they problem solve in Japan.