Flood (film)

Flood is a 2007 British disaster film, directed by Tony Mitchell. It features Robert Carlyle, Jessalyn Gilsig, David Suchet and Tom Courtenay, and is based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Richard Doyle.[3]

British DVD cover for Flood
Directed byTony Mitchell
Produced byJustin Bodle
Screenplay byJustin Bodle
Matthew Cope
Nick Morley
Based onNovel: Richard Doyle
Music byDebbie Wiseman
CinematographyPierre Jodoin
Edited bySimon Webb
Distributed byLionsgate UK
Release date
24 August 2007 (cinema version, UK)
4 & 5 May 2008 (extended TV version, UK)
Running time
110 minutes (cinema) / 187 minutes (TV)
CountryUnited Kingdom, South Africa, Canada
Budget$24 million[1]
Box office$8.272 million[2]


A storm surge travels between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, raising sea levels and coinciding with the spring tide. Several parts of Scotland are devastated, including Wick.

The Met Office's head forecaster, Keith Hopkins, mistakenly believes the storm will head towards Holland and is guilt-ridden by Deputy Prime Minister Campbell when he becomes annoyed by the failed forecasts. Professor Leonard Morrison proves that the approaching surge of water will break through the Thames Barrier and flood central London in the next 3 hours. Leonard had focused his life around the belief that the barrier was built in the wrong area, and turned his now apologetic son Rob into a bitter man.

Deputy Prime Minister Campbell, in charge while the prime minister is away, declares a state of emergency. He begins to evacuate over one million people from Central London before the water surge hits. He is assisted by Police Commissioner Patricia Nash, Major General Ashcroft and others.

The Thames barrier is raised, but the huge wave of water (now over 46 meters high) arrives and overwhelms the barrier. It sweeps into the city, destroying everything in its path. Rob and his ex-wife Sam, both expert engineers, jump into the Thames to escape. Leonard is saved by a military helicopter and taken to Whitehall, where the authority figures desperately require his assistance in finding a way to handle this emergency.

Rob and Sam end up in the London Underground with other survivors. They are led through a ventilation duct to higher ground by two underground maintenance workers, Bill and Zack, although Bill dies sealing a door behind the others. When the surge floods the station, the currents drown Bill. The group find a ventilation shaft and escape the underground, later finding themselves in the flooded Trafalgar Square, where Rob and Sam are able to contact Leonard. They end up returning with him to the barrier, where Leonard believes the water flow can be reversed back out of London, as the tide has turned and the water level is starting to go down. But the military's Ashcroft disagrees and prepares to destroy the barrier with an air strike.

Hopkins, feeling even more guilty when thousands of corpses are shown on a news report, quietly disappears and is later reported by Ashcroft to be dead, an apparent suicide. Nash is at odds with Ashcroft, wanting to give the Morrisons a chance to remedy the situation, while also distraught over her own two missing daughters.

Rob, Sam and Leonard discover the controls to the Thames barrier are now underwater. One can activate them, but likely will not survive. Rob and Sam try to decide which of them should go, but Leonard leaves on the suicide mission behind their backs. He saves London by activating the barrier's controls before running out of air whilst underwater and dying in the effort.

Campbell is informed that the Thames barrier has been activated and orders the air strike to be aborted. Rob and Sam lower the Thames barrier and the water flows back out of London.



The film was shot on location in London for two weeks and in South Africa for 11 weeks.[3] It is notable for the use of intricate production design and special effects in depicting famous London landmarks such as the London Underground, Houses of Parliament and The O2 being partially submerged under water.

Twenty-six studio sets were constructed with built-in water effects to shoot the actors in a wide range of flood sequences. Miniature sets in water tanks were used to shoot larger flooded buildings such as the Thames Barrier, London Underground and car parks. Computer generated visual effects were used to create shots of flooded London by combining shots of London with digitally created water. Locations in Cape Town were used for Whitehall, the Scottish coastline, London Underground and the Thames Barrier.


A 110-minute version of the film was given a limited theatrical release in the UK, premiering on 24 August 2007[3] and was released on DVD in the UK on 29 October 2007.[4] An extended two-part TV version was screened on ITV1 on 4 and 5 May 2008 and released in the UK on DVD 27 October 2008.[5] It also played as a mini-series in Spain, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Finland and Denmark. The extended version was repeated on ITV3 on 10 and 11 January 2011.

Critical response

Anna Smith at the BBC gave the film 3 stars out of five with the reviewer calling it "an American disaster movie on rather sodden British soil."[6]


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