Another one of those frustratingly inspirational by-the-numbers “based on a true story” films once again. I’ve taken issue with films of this sort whether it’s blatant Oscar bait like The Theory of Everything, but this isn’t particularly any surprising when you have Disney as the producers of said film. Directed by Craig Gillespie, who was prior responsible for Million Dollar Arm (which I already rather disliked), what he’s created is once again another by-the-numbers biopic but while it’s not inherently a bad film, not enough is present that would have me considering it a good film either.
Whether it be from the score alone or how it handles the story, it’s rather obvious that it’s trying to settle for an inspiring note because that’s not really any surprising especially when Disney is responsible. While it doesn’t handle the story in a manner to which it’s insulting, the problem is that it settles way too much for convention and soon when you place it amongst many other films of the sort, there’s not really so much that’s offered that can make The Finest Hours stand out, and it’s a rather forgettable product by the end. It’s a shame because the true story behind this is indeed a rather interesting one and it deserves much better treatment than just a means to, as they say, inspire.
Visually, I wouldn’t really say there’s any denying all the effort placed into the special effects. The waves are the very best aspect to the film because of merely how much care is placed into the way it looks on the screen. I’d imagine it were to have its full effect when it’s witnessed in 3D but I’m not so sure why it’s so necessary to watch something like this in that format. Sure it does look great, but when the effects merely are there for enhancing said experience, it ends up playing a part in distracting from the impact of the story, but at least it doesn’t go to rather insulting levels.
The acting does range from being rather interesting to rather awkward. Casey Affleck provides the best performance in the entire film, for at least he has the very best moments in the film. He deserved more time on the screen with what he had, but at least he’s able to grab interest in what otherwise could be nothing more than a complete bore. Chris Pine’s moments on the other hand just feel awkward especially with his attempts in order to adapt to a much older period in time for the viewers. He’s clearly trying but his attempts only come off as just rather awkward.
Not really too much is present in The Finest Hours to write about for it’s neither a good film nor a bad film. It’s merely a movie that’s just there. It won’t really create so much of an impact after one viewing for its choices to sink into convention, and while it may sound rather harsh, I’ll repeat myself once more, The Finest Hours isn’t terrible by any means. At least when cast members like Casey Affleck are actually trying to convey a great sense of emotion in the material they have, there are more interesting moments on the screen in what otherwise could be completely boring without them. It really could have been worse, but as it stands, it’s only there and nothing more.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Disney.
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, from The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman
Produced by Jim Whitaker, Dorothy Aufiero
Starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Eric Bana
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 117 minutes