Today, The Finest Hours opens in theaters. Based on the true story of a Coast Guard rescue, the film stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana. Chris Pine plays Bernie Webber, a Coast Guard captain who does everything by regulations. His faith in his duty is tested when his CO (played by a very restrained Bana) sends him on a rescue mission that everyone believe to be a death warrant
The mission is to rescue the remaining crew of the Pendleton, after the tanker is torn in two by a dangerous nor’easter. The crew fights to keep the themselves afloat in order to buy more time for a rescue.
I was invited to an advanced screening this week, and I have to say – I liked this movie a lot. While it has a bit of a slow start, once the Pendleton is damaged, the movie moves at a breakneck pace (full speed, if you will). The stakes are impossibly high, and though Bernie is a very quiet man – Pine plays him so earnestly that without saying much, his concerns are clear. As the first engineer, Casey Affleck’s Ray Sybert is a no-nonsense guy who knows exactly what the stakes are and doesn’t sugarcoat them.
I’d elaborate on how much I enjoyed Holliday Grainger’s Miriam (Bernie’s girlfriend), but I’d rather leave that for you to discover why. Suffice to say, she’s an engaging character.
Lighting-wise, it’s a dark movie. If you see the fairly brightly lit TV ads, be aware that the movie is much darker, since it takes place in the midst of a large storm.
And naturally, the movie can get extremely loud.
We saw it in 3D, and while it was a good clean transfer (nothing stuck out as being gimmicky or floating too far from the rest of the screen), I would have preferred to see it in 2D. I just find it easier to focus on a movie when it’s in 2D.
Bottom Line: It’s worth the cost of a movie ticket. And even though you know going in that it’s based on the story of a small boat rescue – it’s quite another to realize everything those 4 men went through.