The Finest Hours is a film that went to cinemas and received very little attention or promotion. Even when the words “produced by Walt Disney” were used, the film gained very little interest at the box office. Why? Is is because this a bad film? Or did the world just simply miss a great film of 2016? Well, the result is a mix bag.
The Finest Hours is based on a true story of a disaster where 2 oil tankers were destroyed and broke in half, one half left floating at sea during a huge storm in the year 1952.
The cast line up at first glance is nothing to be disappointed in. Cast member includes Chris Pine (Star Trek), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) & Eric Bana (Munich)
The film begins with an introduction to Bernie (Chris Pine), a coast guard member stationed in Chatham. Bernie sits in his car with his friend from the station and expresses the nerves that he has as he tries to build up the courage to meet someone who could be the girl of his dreams. It’s very evident that Bernie struggles to be confident in himself and is introduced as a considerate gentlemen. After gathering the courage, Bernie walks inside a local cafe and meets Miriam (Holliday Grainger). Needless to say the two fall in love and after a short time agree to marry.
Meanwhile, Ray (Casey Affleck) is onboard an oil tanker during the heavy storm. After the tanker is cut in half due to the storm Ray is required to make a stand as the surviving senior officer and lead his remaining team members to survive as long as they can until rescuers arrive at the sea.
On this same night, Bernie’s goal was to ask permission for marriage by his station’s commander. Instead, Bernie’s night changes forever when he is called to lead a small team on what could be classed as a complete suicide mission. Their mission: to rescue the remaining survivors on the oil tanker with the assistance of three other men during the intense weather. Because of Bernie’s nature, he nods and accepts the mission with no questions asked (even if he thinks it could actually cost his own life!), even when the men around him know there is very little chance of him returning. The three men who join Bernie for the mission stand as volunteers.
Chris Pine as Bernie is actually displaying one of his better role in his acting career. It was great to see this actor play a character who wasn’t so charming and up himself (such as what we’ve seen in Star Trek or This Means War). Chris Pine is normally the same type of actor in most films. This was a great refresher and reminder that Chris Pine can take on more of a challenging and inspiring role. Even the smaller details of Chris Pine’s acting, the way he walks and the way he hangs his head low are different than his norm. Chris Pine was the strongest part of this film.
It was great to see so many key actors in this true story film, but, in my option, their full potential is simply not used. This is something that I suggest may have come from the overall direction and from the film’s script. The film’s strongest point is also located in the third act where everything was simply a build-up. The film’s title I feel is also not appealing to anyone and doesn’t represent the film’s tone. I’ll also state that when the film arrived at the big screens, I don’t recall seeing any posters or a film trailer to promote the film (Am I the only one here?).
The Finest Hours does overall deliver a truly impacting story that will leave pleased that you took the time out to watch it. While the film doesn’t warrant a repeat viewing, it’s still a film that I would recommend and shouldn’t be ignored.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden