The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

In the Heart of the Sea: Movie Review

Daniel Khan

Posted on December 16, 2015 22:31

0 user

Hemsworth & Howard Reunite, But the Results are Mixed. Still It Stays Mostly Afloat.

 

       Poor Chris Hemsworth.  It seems he’ll be remembered as a Norse God with a hammer forever, at least as far as the box office is concerned.  It’s a shame, because outside of that money-making Marvel franchise, he’s quite a capable performer.  He’s got the brooding good looks, the gentle blue eyes, that Aussie accent and plenty of swagger, something akin to Robert Redford in the 70s or Mel Gibson in the 80s. 

 

      Hemsworth reunites with director Ron Howard after the Formula One sports drama Rush (2013).  That film wasn’t a rousing success and sadly the duo have not outdone themselves this time around.  Hemsworth plays Owen Chase, a skilled whaler, who is recruited to go on a job on the Essex, headed by captain George Pollard, Jr. (Benjamin Walker) to catch whales to extract oil.  Of course along the way, they run into some trouble, from a blistering tempest to the discovery of a great white whale.  Chaos ensues and they are forced to survive alone at sea among rafts after a deadly encounter with the whale.  

 

       For me, Ron Howard has always been a filmmaker who makes fairly slick looking movies, but lack anything resembling much replay value.  In some ways, he’s a less talented Spielberg, but with a bit more ambition than say Robert Zemeckis.  I haven’t been taken away by anything Howard has done since Frost/Nixon (2008), which was a career high for me.  In the Heart of the Sea dazzles on a visual front, while resorting to CGI to create the mythical whale, it’s generally a success.  The action sequences raise a pulse and are well crafted, never outlasting their welcome, but never quicker than a heartbeat.  Hemsworth equips himself admirably, sporting a Nantucket accent with rugged charm and swagger.  A warning to those who desire whale action, the film is not really centered on that (unfortunately the result of a lousy and misleading marketing campaign).  The film jumps from event to even, so during the seconld half, once the survivors are at sea searching for land, the film feels a bit rushed.  At only two hours, the film could have benefitted from another half hour to an hour of character development and the relationship between Chase and Pollard.  I am sure studio interference caused some drastic changes. 

 

 

        After watching this film, I was reminded of a similar experience to another sea faring adventure, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).  I remember seeing the film back in November 2003 in a theatre filled with vacant seats.  While this film is not on par with Master and Commander, the reaction has been similar,   The Russell Crowe adventure fared poorly at the box office and likely was the reason why no more of the Aubrey-Martin novels were adapted, which was unfortunate, cause they would make for some rousing cinema.  Crowe has rebounded since, Hemsworth will hopefully be okay, it just seems he has just to prove himself as a leading man.  This year’s Blackhat was a massive bomb, for the record, I loved it and I am hoping it receives a welcome afterlife on DVD and Blu-ray.  After Blackhat’s poor performance, Sea was pushed back from March to December, for a myriad of reasons, the main one being Oscar potential. Sad to say, that seems unlikely as well.  In the Heart of the Sea isn’t perfect, far from it, but it’s more often than not rousing and entertains for its two hour length.  It doesn’t join the ranks of the best seafaring adventures, but it certainly isn’t at the bottom either, it’s a movie that deserves better and will hopefully get that chance, if not at the cinema than at a home theater.  

Daniel Khan

Posted on December 16, 2015 22:31

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: Screen Rant
9

WARNING: This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens - After years of anticipation and waiting,...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest