Film Review “The Finest Hours”

The_Finest_Hours_posterStarring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Holliday Grainger
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 57 mins
Walt Disney Pictures

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…somewhere on the Walt Disney lot is a small office in which sits a little man not unlike Burgess Meredith in the “Time Enough At Last” episode of “The Twilight Zone” who does nothing but reads all day, looking for stories, new and old, about amazing events that leave the reader feeling good. It took him six decades but he finally found the story behind “The Finest Hours.”

It’s a cold day in February 1952 as the residents of the small town of Chatham, Massachusetts prepare for a storm. Among the locals is phone operator Vivian (Grainger) and her boyfriend Bernie Webber (Pine), who is stationed at the local US Coast Guard station. The townspeople are a little moody as they recently observed the one year anniversary of a horrible boating accident which killed many. Due to the weather conditions, the Coast Guard was not able to perform a rescue, and some in town still hold a grudge. It is when a similar incident arises, and Webber and his men are sent out into the storm, that old memories prove they do not die easily.

Based on a true story, “The Finest Hours” tells the tale of the four enlisted men who risked their lives in an attempt to bring back thirty-two survivors from a horrible accident in which their actual vessel broke in half. Led by Pine and Ben Foster, the brave military men are a strong and determined lot. Self-reminded of their failure the year before, the men go above and beyond to help. On the ship itself, the men are a motley crew of seasoned vets and young rookies. Let by Affleck’s chief mechanic, some are willing to listen while others distrust him. Then there is the ship’s cook who keeps things light by repeatedly singing “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” from “Guys and Dolls!”

Technically the film is top notch. The special effects are well done and the various period pieces take you back to a time in life when you couldn’t just pick up your cell phone and check in with others. Do save your money and don’t see “The Finest Hours” in 3D. This may very well be the “least” 3D movie of any 3D movie I’ve ever seen. You’d be better served with an umbrella.

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