By Linley McCord
In 1952, the Coast Guard station in Cape Cod sent out men to rescue the crew of an oil tanker during one of the worst storms of the season. “The Finest Hours” tells that true story with gripping and compelling details to show a tale of heroism in the midst of impossible odds.
The plot of the film was solid. While there were some moments that could have been a little shorter or some intensity that could have been played up a little more, it was overall a strong storyline. The way the wreck and subsequent rescue was portrayed will give you a whole new appreciation for the Coast Guard and, for that matter, the sea. No additions needed from Disney: the true story was actually that impossible.
You follow three separate stories throughout the two-hour film: the crew of the tanker, a love story, and the rescue mission. Everything that takes place on the tanker is well done—the intensity, the character turmoil, and the fight to keep the remaining half of the ship afloat. The rescue team of four men is just as tense as you watch a tiny (but well-captained) boat be tossed by a storm-riddled ocean. The love story, though, left something to be desired.
The romance between rescuer Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and Miriam (Holliday Grainger) was lackluster in that it wasn’t built up enough. It was clear the writers wanted to make it something big, but their relationship did not come off as anything special on-screen. The only character that was well-developed was the skipper of the doomed tanker, Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) as he tried to save the men on board.
There were other various plot holes that needed to be filled that would have added to the feel of the movie. Between missing background information and confusing relationships between characters, there were times when the movie was hard to follow.
“The Finest Hours” was an okay movie and will definitely give you a deepened respect for our Coast Guard. But, frankly, watching it won’t be your finest hours of the week.
It earns 6/10 stars.
Rated PG-13 for intense action.