Quick Hit: Decidedly bland and average, the film tells a nice story about a nice time to live.
There are lots of different movies, and I’m not referring to genres. I’m referring to good ones, bad ones, great ones, great bad ones, etc. etc. One of the most languishing for me is the ones that are perfectly average. Obviously you need average films in order to flesh out what is good and what is bad (listen to me going all ying/yang on you), but sometimes I think an average movie is worse than a bad one. At least most bad ones you can feel the atrociousness building, and they leave you with a visceral emotion. Average films leave you with shrugged shoulders and the cost of what you paid to watch the film – thank God I got this one from the library for free.
The Finest Hours follows a U.S. Coast Guard team in roughly the 1950s as they save an entire tanker of gentleman. It features Chris Pine as Bernie, a man who has tried and failed to save men before. Some movies would take this into a character piece, but this movie rarely focuses on Bernie – instead it is more about what you should do and how you should do it. Bernie is portrayed as a relentless rule follower… except at times. Different members of both crews stress continuously how much teamwork is needed to succeed, except when Casey Affleck says so. And Miriam (played by Holliday Grainger), Bernie’s strong, go-getter fiancée, has no problems saying exactly what she wants, until she is told to leave a bunch of times.
The performances are all fine – two highlights are the almost savant-like performance of Affleck’s crewman and the instant chemistry between Bernie and Miriam. But just as there are some big names in the film, there are also a bunch of underused actors who all fall into the background. I recognized multiple people with a handful of speaking lines, like John Ortiz, Eric Bana, and Ben Foster, but almost none of them were given anything to do.
The highlight of the film is the scenes on the sea. Director Craig Gillepsie shows a talent for the action scenes, allowing the size discrepancies between boats to make points… only to have it stripped away by having the characters state what had already been shown. It’s a shame, because there are some really good scenes. Apparently this movie was shot in 3D, and I imagine there are some effects that are very powerful – the waves on the Bar (I can’t stop saying it with that North Eastern accent in my head – Baaaa) are very intimidating, and the musical score for it is extremely good. It makes the scenes on the water worth watching.
Overall, the movie is bland and average. But, it’s not terrible. I’m going to give it a “C” – average all the way.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"