Monday, 22 February 2016
REVIEW: THE FINEST HOURS
The Imperfect Storm.
117 Minutes. Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz, Josh Stewart, Graham McTavish, Kyle Gallner, Michael Raymond-James, John Magaro, Abraham Benrubi & Eric Bana. Director: Craig Gillespie.
Boldly going where no man went before him, Captain Kirk himself Chris Pine channels heroic seaman of history, United States Coast Guard Bernie Weber on a sea trek and four man crews rescue of the shipwrecked U.S. Pendleton in 1952 for 'The Finest Hours' in U.S. Coast Guard history. As the brave and bold men performed the biggest small boat rescue of 32 survivors of a sinking ship split in two with a crew divided in more ways than one. Now decades later in the new milleniuum of the millenial age it's up to the 'Million Dollar Arm' of director Craig Gillespie to throw a wrench into the social media mix of a youthful trend today that could barely give a swipe. Cranking up the action and knocking it out the park in the digital 4K time of IMAX to threaten us with a tense sense of scale to taught teach and snap show us exactly what these brave men went through and what they did...without a compass. Screw your Google maps! Its not about how deep your friends list or followers is. It's what you would do, the lengths you would go for your fellow man. What do you know about old school, meat and extra potatoes getting it done!? All they endured...and all they survived against the tides of a most unforgiving sea. Natures calmest, but greatest eliminator. Like something straight out of the pages of Hemingway but realer than that off the New England shores of Cape Cod, this is 'The Perfect Storm' accented with a hull cranking tension that could even buck that of the submarine dark depths of Jude Law's recent crimson tide of a 'Black Sea'. Only Tom Hanks' 'Captain Phillips' has put up with more in the deep end...no armbands! This one takes the pounding pressure and cast iron noise all the way to the dust of the seabed where only bubbles can hear you scream. That frankly is just how harrowing...and in turn, in the end heroic this real life situation really was. Beneath all the weather warning, black cloud rain storms of lashing waves of white water and Namor God like punishment and power is the hearts and hope of mortal men that could never be drowned.
'Unstoppable' when it comes to strive to survive, rescue mission movies, Chris Pine really is the Cap, like Steve Rodgers' America or the James T. that seeked out the seven seas of space like an intergalatic voyager on his own pirate ship...no plunder. Sporting the Dapper Dan, slicked look he will bring to the superhero, stay at home husband of next years Gal Gadot's 'Wonder Woman', 'Dawn Of Justice', this handsome one is as All-American face of courage and bravery, like he is prepped to be a Hollywood heartthrob heavyweight. And in the fill of his thirties he's still full of young life, yet a maturing one at that. The competence to the already fine crafted charisma of this 'Jack Ryan' comes composed and out of the shadows of any critics doubt. Even being able to put a stop to the runaway success of his early classics like he was merely playing with trains. On a whole new track but still as genuinely compelling as before, soon everyone will be following this leading man. Pine is just that oak strong perfect. Even if he is sharing the leading billing duties with another Captain and Affleck. No not Wonder Woman's other beau Batman, fellow Jack Ryan, Ben. But the sum of the rest of his famous family Casey. The kid grown up good, whose on his own twin double-header this week with 'Triple 9' and the top bill he's copped there. Call it in! The standout star of 'Gone Baby Gone', 'Aint Them Bodies Saints', 'Jesse James' and the 'Oceans' series is more arresting here, shackled to the engine room like it was the depths of a sub. But lieing beneath all that captivatingly captured loneliness and isolation is the survival tactics of a man that know his ship like Pine knows the sea. There's more than one way to peel a boiled egg and under cabin and crew pressure the case for Casey being the best actor of the week and one of the all-round, underrated best rises to the surface with axe wielding puncuation. Worthy of a salute...Good job my Captains! Ay, Ay!
Rocking the boat however more sea legs are needed to stop this ship from sinking. And what a crew we have thanks to an all hands on deck casting director. There's a sea of famous and familair faces all the way down to the authoriative figure of Eric Bana, with another powerful performance opposite Pine. And of course what's an epic ensemble movie without the always on point, actor of character Ben Foster on the program following his controversially underrated, but unamiously underacclaimed, big-time portrayal of enigmatic sports cheat Lance Armstrong? Following that he may not be bike fit here, but he is pedal to the metal...or moor. And speaking of character actors it's easier to name a film John Ortiz has not been in. But yet again even amongst big names his stands out and makes it all on his own again. Bane merc Josh Stewart and 'Rocky' fight promotor Graham McTavish also make great helmsman to Affleck's case. Even 'Once Upon A Times' Michael Raymond-James is on point as this crews counter. Whilst remember that awesome desk receptionist from 'E.R.' Abraham Benrubi? Well he's back here like he never left as the ships cook with an enthusiastic, special dish that steals the show like dessert first. But how about some new talent? Because 'Veronica Mars'' Kyle Gallner and the 'Great Expectations' of Holliday Grainger are ship to shore ready in this movie matinnee throwback. The international players look like they've been Hollywood highlights for years. Just like 'Big Short' and 'Carol' latest and greatest John Magaro. Maybe it's just the tone of this period pieces texture. Because for all the ebbs this really flows on film. The special effects of this time and tide really pass the bar...again and again and immerse us with the law of the sea that these men had to counsel with. The only thing bigger than this blockbusters budget effects is the Walk of Fame names wading these waters. But for real depths the names you need to really remember are Ray Sybert, Richard Livesey, Andrew Fitzgerald, Ervin Maske and Bernard Weber. Everything else barely treads water. TIM DAVID HARVEY.