Review: 'The Finest Hours' brought down by its earnestness


THE FINEST HOURS: 2 STARS

A new movie based on the book "The Finest Hours: The True Story Behind the US Coast Guard's Most Daring Rescue," is the kind of thriller that tries to get the audience excited by constantly reminding them that what we’re seeing is impossible.

See Full Article

"There’s no way they can get over that sandbar!" "This [insert hopeless situation] is a hopeless situation!" "We’ll never make it back to shore!"

Of course in this tale of greatest generation gumption most everything is going to work out well and that lack of any real stakes sucks much of the tension out of "The Finest Hours."

Set in 1952 against the backdrop of a brutal New England nor’easter, the action begins when an oil tanker is ripped in half, stranding 30 sailors in a floating coffin. As it fills with water their chances of survival reduce by the minute.

On board, engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) makes desperate attempts to stay afloat, hoping against hope that someone will brave the vicious 70-foot waves to rescue them.

The Finest Hours film review

Luckily for them a four-man Coast Guard crew led by Boatswains Mate First Class Bernie Webber (Chris Pine along with Ben Foster, John Magaro and Kyle Gallner) in a small motor lifeboat CG 36500 are willing to brave the waves and bring the men back home.

The bulk of the film takes place on the water - imagine the H2O budget! - but while the men are battling the elements their families - most notably Bernie’s fiancée Miriam (Holliday Granger) - anxiously await the return of their loved ones from the grip of the storm.

"The Finest Hours" is a big, handsome movie with stern jawed heroes and plucky dames. It’s a story about the men who go to sea in ships, weather bombs and Hollywood heroism.

The Finest Hours film review

It’s also a tad dull.

Director Craig Gillespie doesn’t skimp on the action - there are waves a plenty - and the men are thrown into one precarious situation after the next but beyond the most cursory character work it never feels like a great deal of thought was put into the people populating the screen.

Pine turns Bernie into a shy, insecure man who finds his heroic side but the charisma the actor usually brings to his roles is missing. The other actors hand in competent performances but the characters are so underwritten it feels as if they stumbled out of Central Casting before Gillespie shanghaied them for this film.

With few compelling characters the movie drifts along, hoping to reel you in with big, splashy (literally) visuals, but it’s all for naught. Filling the screen with action might entertain the eye but if you don’t care about the characters, how can you care about the action?

"The Finest Hours" has its heart in the right place but is sunk by earnestness and mannered presentation.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • BET Awards 2017: Remy Ma, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé win top awards at nostalgia-heavy show

    Entertainment CBC News
    Remy Ma has ended rival Nicki Minaj's seven-year winning streak at the 2017 BET Awards, a show highlighted by '90s R&B and groups popular in that decade, as well as five wins for Beyoncé. Ma, who was released from prison in 2014, won best female hip hop artist Sunday in Los Angeles, an award Minaj has won since 2010. Source
  • J.K. Rowling: Creator of magic who dazzled the world

    Entertainment CTV News
    The creator of a wizarding empire which has dazzled the world, J.K. Rowling struggled through hardship to become an unrivalled children's author with a global voice. Rowling once told a beaming crowd of Harvard University graduates how she had initially failed "on an epic scale". Source
  • Ontario to ban 'scalper bots' in proposed ticket sale reforms

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Ontario government plans to clamp down on ticket scalping with a new law that will prohibit the use of automated ticket-buying "bots." The proposed legislation announced this morning will also cap markups on resold tickets at 50 per cent of their face value. Source
  • Ontario pitches new rules to crack down on ticket scalping and bots

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Ontario government plans to introduce new rules this fall that would crack down on scalping tickets for sports, concert and other events at inflated prices. The new legislation would target resellers who used technological and other means to buy the majority of tickets, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told reporters outside Toronto's Rogers Centre on Monday morning. Source
  • Merlin's beard! Harry Potter turns 20

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    He was so cute: Blond hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. He was dressed in a black robe with a fake scar on his forehead and regaling our fifth-grade class with his book report on "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Source
  • A-boot, pa-sta, drama: Canuck actors on the words that bring out their Canadian accent

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — When Howie Mandel played a Boston doctor on the 1980s medical drama “St. Elsewhere” it wasn’t the medical jargon he struggled with — it was his Canadian accent. “I can’t tell you how many times they stopped filming on ‘St. Source
  • Russell Crowe, 53, slams rumours he's dating Sophia Forrest, 22

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Russell Crowe has hit back at “lies” that he’s dating an actress 31 years his junior . The 53-year-old actor has been linked to 22-year-old Love Child star Sophia Forrest, with Australian publication Women’s Day making the claims in its latest issue. Source
  • Oprah picks debut novel 'Behold the Dreamers' for book club

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Oprah Winfrey's new book club pick is an acclaimed first novel by Cameroon-born author Imbolo Mbue. Mbue's "Behold the Dreamers" was published last year and won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, an honour previously given to Philip Roth and Ann Patchett, among others. Source
  • 'Pitch Perfect 3' trailer: Bellas are getting back together

    Entertainment CTV News
    World champion vocal group The Bellas are getting back together, but this time they have to compete against bands that write original songs and "actually have instruments." Beca's quit her job, Amy's busking as an Amy Winehouse impersonator, Flo is working a smoothie stand and Chloe's trying to get into vet school. Source
  • Chance honoured by Obama, '90s nostalgia rules at BET Awards

    Entertainment CTV News
    The 2017 BET Awards had stumbles, from technical problems during a performance to going well over its planned three-and-a-half hour time slot during the live show held Sunday in Los Angeles. But the show's performances and special moments made up for having to stay up late on a Sunday. Source