The Finest Hours...a true story that will have your heart pounding with anticipation.
The Finest Hours portrays an incredible true story. The film’s crew did an amazing job and the cast did what they could but nothing about The Finest Hours made a lasting impression. Sure, the story was a true feat of heroism and it was nice look at (I’m not talking about just Chris Pine either) but there wasn’t really much to even write home about.
But alas, I came up with 5 key points about the new Disney film The Finest Hours:
Stop With The Unnecessary Love Stories
Haven’t we learned anything from films like Titanic & Pearl Harbor. While the love story from The Finest Hours is true unlike the previous mentioned films, the romance in this film allowed for some unneeded down time in the film. In an attempt to give the audience more of a reason to root for Bernie to survive his rescue mission, it took away from the dramatic tension of the men at sea. This has nothing to do with the stunning Holliday Grainger and her performance as Miriam Webber but more so, her role seemed to become a chore each time we cut back to her on the shore.
The Right Balance Between Fact & Fiction
Sometimes the magic of film storytelling needs to trump the reality of the situation. With a company like Disney who is known for changing history to fit their narrative, I think The Finest Hours could have used a little artistic freedom. During one of the more tense scenes, the feeling that we could lose someone at any time wasn’t there, as we knew the four Coast Guard members would make it out alive. Movies like this with such notable reality involved happen to lose some of the drama needed to keep viewers engrossed throughout.
Casey Affleck Steals The Whole Show
Chris Pine may get top billing but his wooden performance of Bernard Webber allowed Casey Affleck to swoop and make this his film to shine. Affleck in the role of the timid Ray Sybert was the centerpiece of the story. The character had to take control of the sinking Pendleton after the oil tanker was split in half, all while dealing with a scared and aggressive crew. Ben Affleck's younger brother is coming more and more into his own as each role passes. Casey has come a long way since small roles in cult horror like Soul Survivors.
Other than me having an issue with putting a story about such tragedy into glorious 3D, The Finest Hours was such a beautiful visual experience. I was delighted to see from the moment the film started we were sent to a distinctly 1950's New England winter and the film's beauty stayed even when the action on the screen turned ugly. From the boat cracking in half due to the horrible storm to the ocean abusing the tiny rescue ship, everything was filmed with such glorious computer visual work & stunning realism.
True Underdog Story
While I didn’t love Chris Pine’s performance of Bernie Webber, the story of the true man is unbelievable. Facing a storm like no other, the Boatswains and his crew of fellow Coast Guard made the daring rescue of over 30 men in a small boat. Even the story of Ray Sybert was truly underdog like. Going from his shy self to commanding the remaining crew in keeping themselves; Sybert has amazing character growth in the film. Stories like this are made for Hollywood and it was a thrilling one to see.