In the Heart of the Sea is the latest Ron Howard film that is......interesting......kind of. It may sound that I am thinking that this movie is boring and honestly.....it kind of is? So before I get to my review, here is what the movie is about.
The story is about Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) who wants to be a captain of his own wailing crew during the early 1800's when wailing was the only means to get oil to power the city of Nantucket. When Owen goes to the office to discuss his next sail, he is disappointed to hear that he will be the first mate to Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker). From then on, George, Owen, and the crew members set out on their voyage to get as much oil as they can, until they hear about the ''monster''. After hearing the tale of the 100 foot whale in the ocean, both George and Owen decide to go after it and the school of whales until the "monster" wrecks their boat and leave them stranded on their own for 90 days.
So now after knowing what the story is about, you may be wondering what is keeping me from saying this is a great movie. Well, first thing is first....the main lead characters. Both Chris Hemsworth and Benjamin Walker do a fine job portraying their characters. They had to loose weight for their roles in this movie and it is great to see them dedicate their physical appearance for this role, but unfortunately the characters are not fleshed out well. You get the general basics that Owen is a generic husband who has a wife and a kid on the way who tells his wife that he will come back with no problems (cliche) and has all of the experience when it comes to wailing. George is a man whose family as been in the wailing business for years and is captain all because of the family name. That's all you know. So you are not very invested in the two main leads all that much. One of the only people you can really relate to is Tom Hollands character who experiences all of this chaos when he is 14 years old. You connect with him more because of how his older self is unraveling the story.
Another issue I had with this movie is how boring it may be and the effects within the movie. Now the effects, so I can get them out of the way, are okay. When you see the whales in this movie, they look fine. Other times the effects don't look so great. The story is pretty bland. The two main leads butt heads throughout the movie but don't really do it so much. Most of the movie takes place with them wailing on boats, stranded on boats, suck on an island (not for long though) and then back to being stranded in their boats again. There is not much going on. It is kind of boring. Also, the movie uses shots where it is close up on an object and then zooms out. It was okay the first few times but to see it again and again kind of took me out of the movie.
Now even though I may have listed much about what I didn't like in the movie, there are some great factors in it. Ron Howard directed this movie greatly. There are moments in this movie that look marvelous and he really captures the importance of what wailing was back in the day and shows how small we really are out there in the ocean.He also does a spectacular job in showing how dangerous wailing truly was. The movie also captures the since of survival between shipmates as well by showing how insane one can get with little not no food and water while being stranded out in the ocean.
Another great factor that I took away from this movie are the performances, specifically two people in this movie. Chris Hemsworth does another great performance in a Ron Howard movie. Similar to his role in Rush, he rivals with another person but also has to show the withering of a person when out there with very little resources. He really has to show the person breakdown and be stripped down and change his view of himself. The other role in this movie that I really enjoyed is that of Tom Holland. It is no wonder why this kid is going to be Spider-man. Tom does a great job of paying a young orphan who grows up wanting to kill a whale but instead goes through so much tragedy on and off of the ship. There is one scene in the movie that I will not spoil that is just truly disgusting. You can see in the character's eyes how scared he was throughout many circumstances.
In the Heart of the Sea is a good movie. Not a great one, neither a bad one. If you enjoy biographical movies or love a good survival, this is a good one to have. I will say that the Blu-Ray movie comes loaded with special features that do raise the movie some more likability. I think that you should at least give it a watch. It is a good movie to watch and is much better to be watched on a big screen. Look for In the Heart of the Sea in stores now.