You’ve already seen this movie. If it differs much from The Perfect Storm, I can’t remember how. But The Perfect Storm was a much better movie, and I’ll tell you why: it’s because you cared whether the characters lived or died. The Finest Hours does not care to imbue you with any such worry. The men on the sinking ship are hardly known to us. Their leader, played by Casey Affleck, is so poorly drawn that all we know about his life off the boat is that he doesn’t have one. And yet we still like this guy more than Chris Pine, a grunt at the coast guard with a chip on his shoulder. What we know about him: he rejects his girlfriend’s proposal for an unknown reason and then accepts in order to avoid a fight, but then neglects to mention\get permission from his commanding officer (Eric Bana), and won’t pick up the phone to tell her goodbye (won’t even answer the phone when SHE calls HIM) even though he’s about to go on a suicide mission. Helluva guy.
But you know. He’s broody. He’s let men die before and he’s not going to do it this time, even if it kills him and everyone he knows. His crew is pretty nervous about this plan but it’s either meet their fate in the ocean or go home and marry a pretty girl, so of course he sallies forth. And don’t worry, they’re successful.I do not believe I am spoiling anything in telling you this because you know exactly what kind of movie this is going in: man vs. nature. Man must triumph (and then return home to be cowed by a 22 year old woman with red lips).
Chris Pine is no George Clooney and though I wouldn’t call The Perfect Storm an altogether perfect movie, The Finest Hours does pale in comparison, and compare you must. And I don’t mean a Canadian’s legs after a long, hard winter pale. I mean an anemic, Irish zombie who’s locked in a closet and is starving for brains pale. A couple of reviews ago I asked what’s blacker than black, and I got my answer. So today I’m wondering: what’s the whitest shade of pale? And disappointingly, it’s white. White is the lightest possible colour on the spectrum, so even if we found something whiter than white, that would just become the new white and we’d have to come up with a new shade name for old white that’s not ghost white or snow white or white smoke, since those are already taken (And are all darker than white, and don’t tell me you can’t tell!).
Should you watch it? No one’s stopping you. It’s a perfectly serviceable rescue drama where you know exactly how things will play out based on the title alone. It won’t impress you much, but maybe after a hard week of work and a large bowl of popcorn at your disposal, that’s all you need.