(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
In the Heart of the Sea had some good action moments, but for a survival movie, it didn’t give any real emotion or anything new to this type of story.
Rating: 3 Stars
Ron Howard is another director I respect a lot. His movies always allow a very unique twist of emotion on stories that may seem very epic, or very humane. Epic in movies such as Apollo 13 and Rush where a big moment like a space shuttle crashing or a Formula 1 race can add depth and thrills to the story and their characters. Humane movies as Frost/Nixon and, my personal favorite, A Beautiful Mind, where he gets on complex character, or characters, and makes it deep with emotion and uniqueness. You get one or the other with Howard’s movies, and he has come a long way since his days in the show Happy Days. More than that, his bubbly personality, and down to earth attitude makes him likable, and people respect his craft. So with his new movie In the Heart of the Sea, I believed that we were in for a treat, and somewhat I was right and wrong.
What I Like: Ron Howard really created a spectacle of showing sailors working hunting whales to use to create oil for people on land. A big task for something simple, but that’s how it was back in the day, and it took brave men to get the work done. He captures how going out whaling is done, the process of getting the barrels of oil, and going through a storm. The real action was when the whale attacked them, and that scene was done beautifully. The whale’s CGI effects were lifelike, and it was almost like the actors interacted with the whale in the scenes of destruction. The scenes that showed true emotions was the fact that they have to eat dead humans to survive being shipwrecked on their lifeboats, and that one scene where the captain was suppose to die to become food, but the other decided to kill himself. I can only imagine eating a human being, and honestly, I pray i wouldn’t be in that situation to make that decision. I also liked seeing the beginning scene of Moby Dick’s author, Herman Melville played by Ben Whishaw, talking to one of the survivors of the shipwreck, Thomas Nickerson played by Brendan Gleeson. It was interesting seeing him refuse to tell the story at first, but finally opening up, and inspiring Melville to write the book Moby Dick. (A book I was always liked.)
The So So: The movie became a survival story, but it was a typical survival story. It didn’t add anything new that we haven’t seen before. The movie didn’t really add any emotional character development which is disappointing in a Ron Howard film. When someone dies, it didn’t really take a toll on you emotionally. The only time you had that feeling is when Owen Chase, played by Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor), was thought to be dead, but actually survived was a cool minor twist. if only for the sake of Hemsworth that he doesn’t sound like Thor to me in other movies. It does affect me sometimes.
What I Didn’t Like: There were some scenes that didn’t make sense to me, or wasn’t explained well. Like why when the whale showed up for the final time, Owen didn’t try to kill it? I can guess is because he didn’t want the whale to cause another accident, but at least explain it. Or why the whaling company didn’t want the truth to come out? Accidents always happen, so why they had to cover it up, and make the sailor lie? Things like this makes this movie a little underwhelming.
Overall: The movie had great action, and special effects, but story wise, it wasn’t that good. To me it’s a rarity to see a Ron Howard film like any type of emotion or better character development. Maybe he worked to hard on the special effects and not the story. I hope he learns from that for his next film, and make another one we all can remember!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
(Sidenote: Dope- Director Rick Famuyiwa at his finest. This movie wasn’t just funny, but it was smart, and very entertaining. I really enjoyed the soundtrack of mixing 90’s Hip-Hop (a great era) with music of today. It deals with stereotypes of living in a rough neighborhood and either living a crime ridden life, or a smart intelligent life, and how it can balance out. It is very interesting to see how this story goes, and it is good for everybody to watch no matter what race you are. The jokes can be too much, but the message is definitely there. A great message if I can add.
Rating: 4 Stars)