2 February 2016 | bankofmarquis
Edge of your seat action
The FINEST HOURS is a rip-roaring, edge of your seat action thriller that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
There....that should get me on the poster.
That said, I will have to admit that I had low to middling expectations going into this film and it exceeded my expectation in almost every way.
Starting with the Cast. Chris Pine (good ol' Cap't Kirk) stars as Bernie Webber a mid-level Coast Guard officer who is flung into the forefront when an oil barge splits in half in very rough sees during a storm. Pine presents Webber not as a square-jawed hero, but a real person with doubts and insecurities but a strict code of ethics and when his Capt. (the always capable Eric Bana) sends him out for what could be a suicide mission, he goes out.
While Pine holds down half of this movie, Casey Affleck holds down the other half as the leader of the group of survivors on the oil tanker. Normally, I am not a big fan of Affleck's work, but in this movie, I sure am. He is a man of few words and tells much with his expression. If there is a "squared jawed hero" in this movie, it is Affleck.
These two are supported by a veritable who's who of "that guy" actors. Ben Foster, John Ortiz, Michael Raymond James and good ol' Abraham Benrubi are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of wonderful character actors filling the roles of other Coast Guard members and crewmen of the doomed ship.
Only Holliday Grainger as Pine's strong-willed fiancé fails for me, but I blame a weak written character more than her acting for that one.
But, make no mistake, it is the action that makes this movie exciting. From the opening where the oil ship splits in half through the attempt to get out to the ocean to find the doomed ship to the actual rescue itself, I was on pins and needles, literally vaulting myself up out of my seat to get over a wave at one point. Director Craig Gillespie, not known as an action director, does a nice job of leading us through these scenes, I am anxious to see what he takes on next. I hope it is another action flick.
Is it a great film? No. The opening (after the tanker accident) drags and the movie bounces around in tone trying to find out what kind of movie it wants to be, but once Pine and company goes out to sea to rescue, the movie zips along just fine.
7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)