8 March 2006 | Snow Leopard
Interesting Setting, A Couple Of Good Performances, About Average Overall
Though about average overall, "Mutiny" has some strengths, with an interesting period/adventure setting and a couple of good performances. The story includes some good action sequences that help make up for the less interesting stretches. The shipboard atmosphere generally works well, but the lighting and photography are so dark (at least in the print as it now seems to be available) that a lot of details get lost or obscured.
The setup has Mark Stevens as the captain of a ship carrying out a special mission during the War of 1812, with Patric Knowles as a disgraced captain who is now serving as second in command, Angela Lansbury as Knowles's greedy and domineering wife, and a mutinous gun crew looking for a way to turn things to their own advantage. It's interesting in taking the historical setting as the backdrop to what becomes a largely private battle of nerves and wills. The circumstances of the war do come into play often enough to make the setting relevant.
Knowles is effective in portraying his complicated, somewhat indecisive character, Lansbury gets the kind of role that she used to perform quite believably, and Rhys Williams and Gene Evans are good as the ringleaders of the mutineers. Stevens is solid, but sometimes slightly lacking in energy, as the captain.
The finale is the best part of the movie, and it is set up nicely, leading to a three-way showdown with plenty of suspense and action, plus an interesting depiction of a primitive submarine. It's good enough to make up for an overall lack of consistency in much of the rest of the movie. In the earlier parts, especially, the script sometimes takes too long to establish simple points, and it also has some stretches in which some weak dialogue weighs it down. So its by no means perfect, but it does have enough to fill its relatively short running time with a generally interesting story.