Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Finest Hours

Despite being based on true events concerning the Coast Guard rescue of SS Pendleton, The Finest Hours feels every bit an exaggerated movie script. Over and over during the film, the small boat under the command of Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) completes such a litany of "impossible" tasks that their actions are actually undercut by the movie's script. It also doesn't help that every other person in the movie is a damn fool than other than Bernie or his fiance Meriam (Holliday Grainger) who at one point "teaches" a sailing community to leave their car lights on to help the sailors find the shore.

The script from screenwriters Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson also struggles with scale. Until Bernie and his men find the Pendleton we have no comparison between the small rescue boat and the sinking tanker. Even spending much of the film with the crew of the lost ship, a questionable decision which splits the focus of the film, The Finest Hours struggles with even the most basic aspects of storytelling.

Throw in the requisite Disney hokeyness and dark photography which hides much of the dangerous sea conditions during crucial moments of the film, and you are left with something of a mess. While there are pieces that work, too much of the film feels paint-by-number giving the illusion of a boilerplate action plot rather than a drama inspired by true events.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include a featurette on the real Bernie Webber, deleted scenes and featurettes on both the making of the film and the United States Coast Guard.

[Walt Disney Studios, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.99]

No comments: