‘Finest Hours’ DVD Review: A Far Cry From ‘Perfect Storm’ Of Filmmaking
In February, 1952, an unprecedented nor’easter slams the New England coast near Cape Cod causing catastrophic conditions for all vessels out on the water.
An oil tanker is damaged, then virtually cut in half and swallowed by the sizable squalls. Another vessel languishes after a mammoth wave struck a hole in its hull. For the 32 men on board their only hope is a miracle, but who could possibly help and how?
‘Finest Hours’ DVD Review
The Finest Hours features the hero’s story, a perfect slice of American pride and nationalism, especially when involving a branch of the U.S. Military.
The film follows Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), as he searches for love and men lost at sea in this historical flick filled with both drama and action.
As the film begins, Webber (Pine), is anxiously awaiting a double-date with a fellow member of the Coast Guard. He is concerned about whether or not the young lady, Miriam, (Holliday Grainger), will have interest in him.
Almost immediately the pair are smitten with each other and Miriam proposes to Bernie, but he rebuffs her, fearing that his job in the Coast Guard is too dangerous to get married.
On any given day, he could be asked out to sea and possibly without returning.
But Miriam convinces Bernie she is not worried so the two agree to marry, though, in order to exchange vows, Webber must get permission from his commanding officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana).
On the same day Webber and the guardsman learn about the plight of the SS Fort Mercer. And with so many men rushing to assist, Webber and a small crew are forced to attempt a rescue of another tanker, SS Pendleton, with the use of a small lifeboat.
Defying all odds, Webber steers the lifeboat through all kinds of big waves and weather before eventually reaching the Pendleton.
Not only is Webber able to reach the craft but he and his crew save squeeze all 32 men on board the lifeboat and head home.
Without a compass to guide him, Webber listens to the seas for guidance until Miriam organizes people in town to drive their cars to the shores and flicker their headlights to provide Bernie with a beacon to steer toward.
Webber and crew, along with the 32 men rescued all arrive safely on the shores of Cape Cod.
The plot development in the film takes longer than it ought too and despite the scenes with tremendous waves and gusts of wind, the special effects fall flat.
The Finest Hours is essentially the Coast Guard’s version of The Perfect Storm, with lesser quality effects, scriptwriting and acting.
Pine is passable, but he doesn’t rouse any acclaim for his performance. Even the distinguished Casey Affleck seems toned down when compared to his other acting roles.
Ben Foster delivers as crewman Richard Livesley, proving he is one of the best character actors of this generation.
Grainger lights up every room she enters, filling the screen with warmth, but Pine’s dullness turns it all cold.
The special features include a documentary on the story behind the film and that was almost as entertaining as the main attraction.
The Finest Hours purports to be an epic, but in reality, it’s just a Disney movie.