“In the Heart of the Sea” had all of the potential to be one of the best movies of the year and that aggravates me even more because I know what director Ron Howard is capable of. Nevertheless for some reason he made some questionable choices and turns in the storyline of this movie, which ultimately makes it boring, despite the epicness of certain scenes.
Ron Howard knows how to make grand spectacle movies and he knows how to present the images and details that make his movies so much more interesting to watch. In the Heart of the Sea is not an exception. Visuals of the movie are stunning and breathtaking at times. The way the movie is edited makes you feel exactly how it feels to be a sailor and how hard of a profession it is. I really liked the wide, above of the ship shots, especially when the whales are swimming around and underneath the ship. All of the confrontations between humans and whales are depicted beautifully on the screen as well.
The story as I said had a lot of potential. I really enjoyed first one hour and twenty minutes of it and if they found a way to end the movie right there I would be so much more satisfied. Right from the beginning Brendan Gleeson’s character starts telling the story of this mystical giant whale about whom he has never talked about before openly. He has witnessed the power of the whale himself as a young sailor about 30 years ago and the horror of the incident is still haunting him till this day. His wife convinces him to share the story with this young writer in exchange with money because they are barely meeting the ends. So he begins and It really made me invested into characters from the beginning.
I will not tell anymore about what happens during the movie for not spoiling anything but I can tell for sure that I really enjoyed the set-up of characters such as Chris Hemsworth’s Owen Chase and Benjamin Walker’s George Pollard who played the brain washed captain that only cares about his family name. One might think that his character was very one dimensional and evil but you have to realize that there really are those kinds of people who come out of renowned families, with self-assurance thinking that because of their family name people should automatically respect them. And I was kind of surprised to see that even this somewhat villainous character had a story arc to him and eventually changed his opinion about life. Chris Hemsworth’s Owen Chase also had it’s interesting backstory, which made me care about him. But later in the movie he is portrayed as this perfect guy who knows solution to every problem and is not afraid of anything. I mean there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just that I stopped caring about him and I was sure he is going to survive.
Even if I had those minor problems with characters and their interaction, the part of the movie that bombed me the most was the last 30 to 40 minutes. They could easily find a way to end the movie earlier and everything would make so much sense but they kept going and going, when there is nothing at stakes anymore. People were talking about the importance of telling the truth and about how dangerous can nature be against human beings, all of which we have already witnessed previously during the movie. There is no need to be preachy and bang on our heads with words in a movie which is supposed to be this spectacle story of men going against whales. Similar thing happened recently in the Mockingjay Part II, where after the resolution of the story the movie just keeps going and you get bored out of your mind without even realizing what’s going on.
So because of those negatives, which bugged me a lot I will give this movie a grade of 6/10