"The Finest Hours" stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, and Eric Bana in a movie based off of true events that took place in 1952. Two oil tankers are destroyed while at sea and it's up to the United States Coast Guard to save the surviving crew in what is considered the most daring Coast Guard rescue in history.
I'll be 100% honest, the only reason I saw this movie was because I felt obligated to do so. I saw this movie's trailer play at screenings more times than I care to count and constant replay of the trailer just made me want to see this movie even though I had no interest in it whatsoever. That probably doesn't make much sense, but it is what it is. So with this movie's viewing feeling like more of an obligation than something I genuinely wanted to do, I actually ended up enjoying this movie and I found it to be surprising in certain aspects.
Starting off this review is the cast that consists of the aforementioned actors. Chris Pine plays the lead and he did a pretty good job in this role. It's a little jarring to hear him talk with an east coast accent at first and I initially thought it wasn't going to work out, but it was one of those things where it eventually started to settle and I ended up buying it by the time the movie sucked me into the story. Good supporting roles include the likes of Eric Bana and Casey Affleck giving good performances, as well as Holliday Grainger playing up the role of the love interest for Chris Pine, but more on her character later once we get to the movie's flaws. No, this movie isn't perfect, but the performances were all definitely one of the stronger points.
This movie also succeeds in making some intense scenes that take out at sea. The actual shipwrecks and overall destruction were great to watch and the survival situations also had my interest throughout. With all of that keeping you entertained for a majority of the film, it all builds up to the rescue and even that was exciting to watch. This movie does a good job of getting you invested in the situation and the investment pays off once you're watching the rescue and you genuinely care about the stuff that's taking place. The scenes at sea are a mix of intense situations and good visuals, but that plays into the stuff at land that doesn't quite work.
Whenever this movie isn't out at sea, it's obviously back on land and you see a lot of stuff concerning Holliday Grainger's character. I personally feel that the movie would've benefited from these scenes being taken out of the movie completely. Like I said, Grainger is good in the role, but the character wasn't very interesting and that ends up making all of her scenes uninteresting as well. Sometimes you just want to see mayhem and thrills and this is one of those movies that needed more of that stuff in place of some boring characters.
Also, this movie, like most other films based off of true stories, definitely takes liberties with the events being depicted. I personally don't know a lot about the actual story, but there were scenes in this movie where I could tell they most likely didn't happen in real life. Some scenarios had typical Hollywood writing all over them and I usually don't mind when an adaptation takes liberties, but I just prefer the liberties to not be so noticeable and this movie unfortunately had some stand out moments like that.
In the end, "The Finest Hours" was an enjoyable rescue/survival movie with good acting and a fair amount of exciting, intense, and entertaining scenes at sea. Some wasted characters and liberties aside, this is basically what I wanted out of last year's "In the Heart of the Sea", a story of survival at sea that isn't boring throughout. For a January film, this isn't a bad way to spend your time and money, especially if you're at all familiar or interested in the story that's being told.