Howdy people, feels like ages since I’ve done a film review fresh from the cinema, but since my plans got changed last night I had some free time and decided to check out The Finest Hours. Now this was a film I was looking forward to because of not only the amazing true life story it was based on but also because of the cast. I saw the reviews were okay, but I still wanted to see what it was like for myself, and that I’ve seen it I’m ready to pas judgement!
So the story can be described as the following:
” The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.”
So here’s the thing about The Finest Hours, it was great when it was primarily focused on the seaman of the oil tanker and their attempts to survive and the eventual rescue mission conducted by the Bernie and his crew. I really did enjoy the moments with the crew of the SS Pendleton, their situation was very scary and dangerous and this film did well to illustrate tension, fear and hopelessness within the crew members but also demonstrate the near impossibility of their survival. But when the story was shifted from the sea to Miriam and her ongoing concerns for her fiance or anything going on with the characters on land, that’s when the film got uninteresting. Near the start of the film we get to see the start of Bernie and Miriam’s relationship and it was cute and fine, but unfortunately as the film went on it became more of a hinderance on the story than a compelling part of it. And while I understood the need to show the story from the perspective of the friends and family of the men stranded at sea, it wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped and a fair amount of the story felt a little formulaic when it comes to these “based on true events” kind of film.
As for the cast they were pretty solid but there were performances that stood out more than others. For me the stand outs were Chris Pine as Bernard “Bernie” Webber and Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert. These two characters are given the most amount of screen time and have the most engaging and relevant effects on the story, plus their performances were really solid. I enjoyed the tenacity of Webber, while Sybert’s knowledge and level headedness in the face of adversity was nice to see. As for Holliday Grainger as Miriam Pentinen Webber, I did enjoy her performance as she was cute, yet determined and concerned for her fiance, but unfortunately the character became more annoying than anything else. I also enjoyed Ben Foster as Richard Livesey, John Ortiz was good as Wallace Quirey and I really liked Graham McTavish as Frank Fauteux, and it was good to see Keiynan Lonsdale from The Flash in this film as Eldon Hanan. And finally it’s always good to see Eric Bana around and while he was decent as Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff was alright
The presentation was one of the stronger elements of this film. Visually this film looked great with an awesome sense of scale, good lighting and detail for the action sequences when the ship was falling apart or when the rescue boat was pushing through the crashing waves of the ocean. And the film score by Carter Burwell had some moments of beauty in some of the dramatic or uplifting scenes, but I felt like it wasn’t dramatically well-matched with what was happening on-screen of numerous occasions.
In conclusion The Finest Hours was decent film with good special effects and solid story material out at sea, however, with too much time dedicated to Bernie’s fiance and a lack of emotional depth, it missed the chance to be more than an average historic film.
So have you seen The Finest Hours and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀