What’s with all these ‘disaster at sea’ movies coming out lately? Is there some kind of nautical trend that I’m not aware of? I have to admit, I’m not a big ‘sea adventure’ fan unless the movie involves pirates. But despite a significant lack of pirates, The Finest Hours did ok in my book.
The Finest Hours stars Chris Pine as Bernie Webber, one of the members of the Coast Guard who attempts a rescue of a tanker in the middle of a nor’easter. The story is based on a true story that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in the 1950s.
It’s actually a pretty well researched subject, with everything that happened a matter of public record. It’s about a true-life US Coast Guard rescue mission off Cape Cod in the winter of 1952, when an oil tanker sheared in two and a small crew from the Chatham station went searching for survivors in a tempest that came close to claiming their lives.
Director Craig Gillespie and his screenwriters, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson did an excellent job of capturing the time period and the atmosphere. It’s a stiffer, dreary, almost clinical approach to the events, which isn’t terrible in and of itself. They also gave the characters some realistic backstories, making the focus of this movie the rescue and not the rescuers.
The plotline is kind of confusing but the makers did make an effort to simplify it for audiences. The characters were pretty well developed with Kasey Affleck being the most compelling in my book. It’s a thrilling movie with some excellent, terrifying CGI. It’s a movie that will make your stomach hurt with tension, even though you know how it ends.
I like the way the screenwriters respected the facts and didn’t try to go off subject on us. It appears that there’s less embellishment and more simple artistic license making this movie better.
As far as the actors go, while the roles were a bit clichéd, they kind of help keep things straight. This movie again, isn’t about the characters. The hero is played by Chris Pine, as one of those enthusiastic new recruits types with a super sweet fiancé, Miriam (Holly Grainger). Their chemistry was good and Pine played his part true to form. But to me, it’s Casey Affleck that really steals the show. He plays one of the most compelling characters, the near-mute outcast of the crew and he does it with such depth, you forget that a dude that good looking would never be an outcast. Seriously, Casey Affleck made me forget he was hot.
While it’s not my genre, I can absolutely respect the movie for what it was. While sometimes a bit convoluted in the details, it’s still a good retelling of some real life events. It’s compelling and suspenseful, though it does drag in a few places. They put together a movie with great special effects, and for that alone should not be missed. This is one that’s worth the watch, even if you prefer your sea movies with pirates.
Although pirates would have made it better, just saying.
WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!