The Finest Hours

Director: Craig Gillespie (2016)

Batten down the hatches and prepare for heroism on the high seas in this historical drama.

It’s a sturdy old fashioned tale of duty, courage and comradeship in extreme circumstances.

But it offers only a squall of excitement, not a storm of danger.

During the ferocious winter storm of 1952, a Massachusetts coast guard crew combats ferocious conditions to rescue the crew of a stricken oil tanker.

But when a second tanker is ripped in two, it is left to a lowly Boatswains mate to launch a second mission with an inexperienced crew and unsuitable craft.

The action is a well staged mix of real action and special effects but the soggy performances threaten to capsize the story.

Bernie Webber is a shy, cautious soul. As the quiet hero Chris Pine carries none of the arrogant swagger of his Captain Kirk from the recent Star Trek reboot.

Instead he acts his little serious socks off, trying to out furrow the knotted brow of a typically downbeat Casey Affleck.

He plays Ray, the engineer and acting skipper of what remains of the tanker.

His authority is challenged by Seaman Brown, an enjoyably dissident Michael Raymond-James. Being a Disney movie, these are the most profanity free sailors ever to set sail.

The story flounders as when Bernie begins to abandon his cherished regulations to follow his instinct. It’s almost as if he’s using the Force from Star wars.

As Bernie’s pretty telephonist fiancee Miriam, Brit actress Holliday Grainger has little to do by drive about the dock and look worried. It’s a thankless role but the script at least attempts to give her a mind of her own.

A thunderous score seeks to drown out the scolding winds and though there’s some fine moments, you won’t be blown away at any minute or hour.

 

 

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