“The Finest Hours,” like “13 Hours,” tells a story of courage and heroism under difficult and life-threatening circumstances.
As a movie, it’s positive in terms of its approach and authenticity. As a re-creation of a true story, it somewhat falls short of reaching its possible potential.
Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber, a Coast Guard crewman in Massachusetts set to marry his girlfriend (Holliday Granger) when he receives orders to go out to sea and help rescue the oil tanker S.S. Pendleton. Ben Foster co-stars as his second-in-command.
Casey Affleck co-stars as the captain of the Pendleton, whose tanker is broken in half by a nor’easter. Affleck and his crew do their best to maintain control of the tanker until the Coast Guard arrives to save them. One of their strategies involves using an egg for demonstration. Laughs are few and far between in this movie.
Eric Bana co-stars as Webber’s superior, helping him and his crew locate the Pendleton in dangerous waters. During a massive storm sequence, the screen vibrates with convincing and impressive images.
“The Finest Hours” is one of those movies that never really reaches escape velocity. The beginning often feels sluggish and lackadaisical as we get time to know the characters before they set sail. It’s just a shame they’re not more interestingly developed.
This is another example of a movie that has some good moments, and it’s certainly well-made, but it’s not memorable either. Instead of a movie doing service to its real-life story, it settles for a safer routine instead of testing its own waters. Not really recommending, but close.
(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.