I was so excited to see this film when the film trailer was first released. It looked like a thrilling adventure with themes of survival and with Ron Howard directing, it was a no brainer for me to see after experiencing his past films Rush and Apollo 13. To my surprise, In The Heart Of The Sea is one of the most disappointing films of 2015, how did this happen? Well, there are a lot of flaws with this film, so much so I can't think of anything positive to say really.
Well, before I jump the gun, Michelle Fairley is good. She's clearly doing her best with what she's been given, as it is a very small role. Her accent stays even throughout. The accent is what brings me to my biggest problem with this film. The accents are horrible, all over the place, what on earth were the cast thinking? Chris Hemsworth slips in and out of British, American and Australian constantly, I found it very hard to watch to be honest. The same goes for Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Tom Holland, Paul Anderson and Joseph Mawle, who all switch between British and American, and it's so evident and clear I found myself gritting my teeth with embarrassment. I don't understand why it's so poor. Charlotte Riley manages to maintain balance, then why not the rest of the cast?
The actual acting is decent but nothing great, it all feels very phoned in and without interest. All these actors above are very talented and likeable stars but here it seems all the personality and passion has been sucked out. Put the cast against the shoddy green screen and things get even worse, some of the special effects are magnificent, most noticeable the whale attack scenes and anything shots underwater. It's the blending of the cast against the backdrop of the ocean that pulls you out of the experience completely, for a 2015 film on a large budget this is surprising, it looks very fake and unnatural.
There is an overuse of close up shots throughout the movie, at first they look really cool and also a creative way of making normal everyday things look interesting, but as the movie bumbles along it's almost as if every single shot is a tight close up with either water splashes or damp clouding the image. This shot type loses its effect very soon. The score does not fit anything that is happening onscreen, it's a rather epic and grand score but the actions happening are anything but. I get the impression that we are meant to feel blown away and amazed at a crew mate fixing the ship's parts but frankly it was boring and I didn't feel thrilled.
Admittedly, the whale attack is well done, it's frantic and chaotic and you are left wondering who has survived. But in there lies the problem, I didn't care for any of these characters, if they died it was dismissed entirely by me as the viewer. I am still surprised at how poor this film was, I wouldn't recommend it all for any aspect, just skip it altogether.