Tom Holland’s First Movie, The Impossible, is Worth Revisiting The Talks Today

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Tom Holland’s First Movie, The Impossible, is Worth Revisiting
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Tom Holland’s First Movie, The Impossible, is Worth Revisiting

Tom Holland is a household name in Hollywood today. The British actor, who first made his mark in showbiz as a stage performer, is best known for his portrayal of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Holland has been praised for his effortless ability to blend action, comedy, and drama into his performances, earning him the status of one of Hollywood’s most bankable young stars. But did you know that Holland’s first major role was in the 2012 disaster drama The Impossible?

Holland’s journey to Hollywood stardom is a remarkable one. Born in Kingston-upon-Thames in the UK, he was drawn to acting from an early age and began performing in stage productions at the age of twelve. Holland’s break came when he landed the lead role of Billy Elliot in the West End production of the musical of the same name. He later reprised the role on Broadway, earning critical acclaim for his performance.


In 2012, Holland’s big-screen debut came in the form of The Impossible, a disaster drama directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. The film, which was based on the true story of a family’s experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, starred Holland alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Despite being only sixteen at the time, Holland held his own against his more experienced co-stars and delivered a memorable performance as Lucas, the oldest son of the family.

Related: Tom Holland’s Best Movies Before Spider-Man, Ranked

The Impossible was a critical and commercial success, earning praise for its realistic portrayal of the disaster and the emotional impact it had on those affected. Holland’s performance was singled out for particular praise, with critics noting his ability to convey the fear, panic, and confusion of a teenager caught up in a life-threatening situation. Holland’s performance was described as “raw and powerful” and “a star-making turn” by critics.

So, why is The Impossible worth revisiting?

The Impossible: A Gripping Tale of Survival

Warner Bros. Pictures 

The Impossible is a harrowing and emotional tale of survival in the face of impossible odds. The film tells the story of a family who are on vacation in Thailand when the tsunami strikes, separating them and throwing them into chaos. The film is based on the true story of Maria Belon, a Spanish woman who survived the disaster with her husband and three children.

The film’s depiction of the tsunami is visceral and terrifying, with Bayona using practical effects and real footage to create a sense of authenticity. The film doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the disaster, showing the devastation it caused and the toll it took on those caught in its wake. The Impossible is not just a disaster movie, but a story about the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of the family bond.

A Triumph of Miniature and Practical Effects

The Impossible
Warner Bros. Pictures 

One of the most impressive aspects of The Impossible is the film’s use of practical effects to recreate the tsunami. Unlike many disaster movies that rely on CGI, The Impossible used a combination of practical effects and real footage to create a sense of authenticity. The result is a scene that is both terrifying and awe-inspiring, as the audience is swept up in the chaos of the disaster.

The filmmakers used a 350,000-gallon water tank to create the tsunami, and they built a replica of the resort where the family was staying in Spain to film the scenes. The actors were put through rigorous training to prepare for the physical demands of the shoot, and the result is a scene that is both realistic and emotionally impactful.

By using practical effects, The Impossible was able to create a sense of immersion that is often lacking in movies that rely on CGI. The audience feels as if they are there with the characters, experiencing the terror and confusion of the disaster first-hand. The use of practical effects is a testament to the filmmakers’ commitment to authenticity, and it’s one of the many reasons why The Impossible is a movie that is worth revisiting.

Related: Why Practical Effects May Be Better Than CGI

Tom Holland’s Performance: A Glimpse of Things to Come

Warner Bros.

The Impossible is worth going back to for many reasons, but perhaps the most compelling is Tom Holland’s performance. Holland’s portrayal of Lucas is a standout, showcasing his ability to convey complex emotions with nuance and subtlety. In the film, Holland’s character goes from being a carefree teenager to a young man forced to grow up quickly in the face of tragedy. Holland captures this transformation perfectly, showing the fear, anger, and desperation that his character experiences throughout the film.

One of the most impressive aspects of Holland’s performance is his ability to convey so much with his eyes. In one scene, when Lucas is separated from his mother and younger brother, Holland’s eyes show the desperation and fear that his character is feeling. In another scene, when Lucas reunites with his father, Holland’s eyes show the relief and gratitude that his character feels. Holland’s performance is a masterclass in acting, and it’s clear from watching The Impossible that he was destined for great things in Hollywood.

It’s fascinating to look back on Holland’s performance in The Impossible, knowing what we do now about his career trajectory. At the time, Holland was a relative unknown, and yet he managed to hold his own alongside more established actors like Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Looking back, it’s clear that Holland was always destined for stardom, and The Impossible was just the beginning of his journey.

The Impossible is a movie that deserves to be watches, not just for Holland’s performance, but for its powerful storytelling and emotional impact. It’s a movie that reminds us of the fragility of life and the importance of family, and it’s a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Related: Tom Holland’s 7 Best Action Movie Stunts, Ranked

The Legacy of The Impossible

The Impossible disaster movie
Warner Bros.

The Impossible not only launched Tom Holland’s career, but it also left a lasting impact on the disaster movie genre. The film’s realistic portrayal of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami set a new standard for how these types of films could be made. The use of practical effects and real footage created a sense of reality that had not often been seen before in the genre.

The film also had a significant impact on the survivors of the tsunami, many of whom praised the movie for its accurate portrayal of the disaster and the emotions it evoked. The film’s message of hope and resilience resonated with audiences around the world, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for those who have experienced tragedy and loss.

The legacy of The Impossible is a testament to the power of cinema to tell stories that move and inspire us. It’s a reminder that, even in the face of unimaginable tragedy, there is always hope and that the human spirit is capable of remarkable things.