The Finest Hours (2016)

CRAIG GILLESPIE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  

USA, 2016.  , .  Screenplay by , , , based on the book by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

The true story of the most courageous and dramatic rescue in American Coast Guard history.  is appealing as the soft-spoken, true-hearted sailor who ignores common sense and follows orders handed down from his boss () to go out in a blizzard after learning that two freighters have been shockingly torn in two by the rough seas. Aboard one of the ships adrift off the coast of Cape Cod,  tries to keep the men aboard the rapidly sinking vessel from going insane with panic, though given that the pumps can only keep water out for so long the situation is not looking great. On shore, Pine’s fiancée () is determined that her man will come back home safe, vigilantly begging his boss to order him back to avoid becoming a widow before she is even married. Beautifully photographed and elegantly directed, this truly inspiring tale would have been done better service by not being a release through the Disney logo: it means to be an old-fashioned tale that pays tribute to the romance of the post-war era, but it comes off simplistic without much ironic humanity, its trajectory moving between bad weather to a rough sea and avoiding any kind of personal conflict within characters and instead creating the odd spat between them instead. Thankfully, the mostly excellent performances make it more than palatable, highlighted by the exceptionally charismatic Grainger and marred only by a painfully weak Bana, whose southern accent crosses state lines just about every time he opens his mouth. It’s a slim but satisfying experience.

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