Thursday, January 28, 2016

Movie Review: Disney's The Finest Hours

The year is 1952, during one of the biggest storms off the coast of Massachusetts, the oil tanker Pendleton is split in half. With another oil tanker having already suffered a similar fate and undergoing a major rescue operation, the Pendleton sits alone with no radio communication and no commanding officers. A small U.S. Coast Guard boat is dispatched to find the Pendleton. But this small crew and smaller boat loses its compass and has no way of knowing if they are heading towards the tanker or not.

Leading up to this epic rescue is a love story between Coast Guard sailor Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and Miriam (Holliday Grainger). This helps add to the tension and drama as Bernie leads his team out into the storm.

Meanwhile aboard the Pendleton, chief engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) unwillingly takes command of the remaining crew. The crew is made up of all types of sailors with every personality type imaginable. This makes for some very tense moments in an already horrible situation. And the camera work here as we swoop up and down the levels of the ship really bring the ship to life.

The cast is strong. Chris Pine plays Bernie Webber, a man who follows the rules. Holliday Grainger plays Webber's fiancee Miriam, a woman who does not abide by the rules of gender. She is proactive
and has much guts as any of the men in the movie. But Affleck is the stand out here. He takes a man of very few words into the most compelling character here. He quietly becomes the leader when he has no desire to be in charge and uses his knowledge of the ship and the currents to help save him and the remaining men on the ship. The quiet hero who steps up when no one else does or no one really knows what to do.

This man versus nature film will keep you on the edge of your seat.  You feel the hopelessness of the men on the tanker as it appears they have no hope to survive. And you feel the pain of the small Coast Guard crew on their small boat as they head towards certain death to do their job of helping others out at sea. This is one forgotten rescue story that will now never be forgotten. The Finest Hours is in theaters now!

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