‘The Finest Hours’ Review: A Disneyfied, Maritime Drama

The Finest Hours Review

The Finest Hours tells the incredible true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter hit New England and wrecked havoc on the ships that were caught in its path, which included the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker which was in route to Boston. The ship was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside the sinking stern.

Casey Affleck plays Ray Sybert, the first assistant engineer, who realizes that it’s up to him to take charge and try to save the crew. Meanwhile, back at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) to grab 3 men and set out in an extremely ill-equipped lifeboat to attempt a rescue mission, which seems more like a death sentence with 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.

They film does a solid job at representing the actual true story. Though it is a Disney film, which means it’s been Disneyfied. How else do you get a maritime film without lots of cursing and smoking? There’s literally not a single person smoking, and no cursing throughout the entire film. It’s not exactly the accurate representation of sailors.

There’s also a love story at the core of The Finest Hours too, between Chris Pine’s character, Bernie, and Miriam, played by Holliday Grainger. While the romance is based on the real life couple, the on-screen pairing of Pine and Grainger just don’t have the chemistry to make it believable. The film would have been stronger with this fluff removed.

Pine’s performance feels weak in comparison to Affleck’s, who ends up ultimately being the star of this film. Take a look at the trailer below.

The Finest Hours Trailer

Overall, the film is fairly accurate to the real-life story. It just doesn’t feel as epic as it could be, and ultimately feels forgettable.

The Finest Hours Review

Grade: C


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