THE FINEST HOURS – review

THE FINEST HOURS – Rated PG

Based on the novel by the same name ~ we are propelled back to Circa 1950 off the coast of Cape Cod ~ where four brave young men with nothing but a small life boat ~ and the will to aid their fellow man ~ find themselves carrying out the biggest Coast Guard rescue in our countries history ~ THIS IS THE FINEST HOURS! finest3

Finally meeting “the girl of his dreams”, even though they have only spoken via telephone, Coast Guard Seaman Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) finds himself instantly smitten with the beautiful and headstrong Miriam (Holliday Grainger).

With the proposal of marriage very quickly on the table, Bernie finds himself struggling with gaining up the nerve to ask Chief Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) for his approval in their union…finest2

Meanwhile, two tankers off the Coast of Cape Cod have found themselves in the midst of a nor’easter storm ~ ripping both ships, and crews, to shreds.  When the SS Pendleton is literally ripped in half, an SOS goes out, hoping that someone will hear their cries for help, and attempt a rescue…

With the loss of the captain, and the rest of crew grasping at ideas on how to survive, Chief Engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), convinces everyone to put their lives in his hands, as he engineers a way to keep their section of their vessel afloat…finest4

Instructed to put together a crew of four, and head out to find any survivors of the Pendleton, Webber must muster all the courage he has to get his crew, and the 32 survivors they find, back safe and sound on dry land…

I give THE FINEST HOURS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE ON DVD:  Leave it Disney to bring an epic tale of courage and survival to the BIG SCREEN ~ with as much refinement and 50’s flare as possible ~ as it is literally as if you have been transported back in time.  The casting is good too ~ Pine is entertaining as the courageous, yet sometimes meek Webber and Grainger is perfectly cast as Webber’s spit-fire love interest too.  But, for me, the standout and totally unexpected performance this time around came from CASEY AFFLECK – he was superb in his role as Sybert – keeping his crew together, and the ship too!!! SO why not just rate this one A MUST SEE?  Even though Disney did what it does best ~ telling a tale of courage, perseverance and survival against all odds ~with a happy ending ~ there were too many glaring holes in their portrayal of this epic story that I just couldn’t over-look.  From the lack of hypothermia, to the cinematic missteps, to the lack of storyline for Eric Bana (He was so underutilized), I just felt that they could have ramped this one so much more, adding to this GREAT HEROIC AMERICAN STORY.  It was fine that they kept the storyline DISNEY RATED ~ I think having a film depicting this story that almost the entire family can see IS A GOOD THING ~ and everyone should see it ~ but I also think that if you are going take the time to bring this real-life story to THE BIG SCREEN ~ you have to ramp it up so that everyone viewing it leaves extremely entertained by what they just viewed, and in awe of the accomplishments by this incredible Coast Guard crew. Needless to say, THE FINEST HOURS didn’t manage to put me on the edge of my seat ~ even in 3D ~ like I was hoping it would…

Kathy Kaiser  

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