THE MERCY Cert 12A Running time 102 minutes Stars 2

Set sail with Colin Firth in this real life adventure which is an endurance challenge for the audience.

At 57 years old he’s missed the boat by about twenty years for this role, and he looks as if he’s been borrowing Paul McCartney’s hair dye.

The Kings Speech star plays Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who in 1968 took up the challenge to become the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping.

I’ve always been bemused when foolhardy posh people call stupid activities a sport, and expect us to care when they go wrong. For example Richard Branson’s hot air ballon rides. 

Crowhurst’s business is ailing, and similarly to Branson he sees the jaunt as an advertising opportunity.

A sentimental script asks us to have sympathy for this cowardly, underprepared chancer who quickly resorts to cheating. That’s Crowhurst not Branson, by the way.

Meanwhile your enjoyment depends on the appeal of bunking up with Firth on a soggy seven month trip. Bon voyage, old bean.


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