As we approach the middle of February, the films that have been released haven’t been great. Disney’s latest effort ‘The Finest Hours’ is further evidence that this month isn’t going to be the most exciting for cinemagoers. Already proving to be unsuccessful in the states, ‘The Finest Hours’ looks set to emulate the box-office and cinematic disappointment of 2015’s boat epic ‘In The Heart of the Sea’.
The story is based on the incredible true story of coastguard Bernie Webber, the American that saved hundreds of lives aboard a sinking oil tanker during a huge blizzard in the 1950’s.
Covering one of the biggest sea rescue missions in US coast guard history, ‘The Finest Hours’ doesn’t do justice to the incredible story of Bernie Webber’s heroics. You would think that a cast like this would be more than capable of pulling it off. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana are all respected actors that have all pulled off great performances in their careers so far, but there is nothing that stands out from their performances here. Portraying such an iconic figure in the coast guards history, Chris Pine does an average job of playing the hero that saved hundreds of lives. His lifeless and awkward persona doesn’t fit the bill of Bernie Webber at all and it clearly shows. Even Ben Foster and Eric Bana are incredibly dull which comes as quite a shock as these two normally pull off great performances. Thankfully, Casey Affleck is the only stand out actor, easily stealing the limelight from lead actor Pine. This may be that Casey Affleck is the only one to pull off the Boston accent!.
All is not lost though as the direction by Craig Gillespie is fantastic. He manages to produce an eye watering spectacle that looks fantastic in 3D. His use of camerawork makes you feel extremely claustrophobic in the oil tanker scenes and extremely cold when in the blizzard. The Australian born filmmaker does very well to keep the film afloat given the continuous issues consistently rocking the boat. While the majority of the actors are sinking ship, the director just about covers the cracks to make the film watchable.
Overall, ‘The Finest Hours’ does just about enough to keep you gripped throughout. Unfortunately its the whole ensemble let the film down most. With a cast like that, I was expecting a lot more from the film and walked out a little disappointed. Director Craig Gillespie keeps the arm bands on throughout and does just enough to salvage what could have been an absolute disaster. 3 out of 5 stars.