The Finest Hours – More Like The Average Hours – Review

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If it’s Disney, you know it’s a classic, old fashioned drama full of red, white, blue and apple pie.

Set in 1952 and based on the true story, Chris Pine stars as Bernie Webber – a by-the-book member of the Coast Guard stationed on Cape Cod.  While still living with the painful memory of a tragedy from the past, Bernie is commanded to head out into one of the worst blizzards ever seen to find an oil tanker that has split in two.

Everyone is trying to tell him to find a way out of it, but Bernie knows it is his job to do whatever it takes to give those men hope of survival, even if it means he might not make it back alive.

As you can imagine, The Finest Hours is the ultimate, cliché-filled, inspirational, feel good story about people facing insurmountable odds to do the right thing, but, doggone it, these actors and this story will find a way to make you care.

The three person writing team and director Craig Gillespie are ambitious when presenting three stories all in one as we see Bernie and his team fighting the treacherous sea, the crew of the tanker desperately trying to do what they can to survive until help arrives, and the efforts of Bernie’s fiancée, Miriam (Holliday Grainger), to do whatever she can to help her man.

Best of all, two of those three stories are compelling.

While we haven’t spoken much about it to this point in the review, the best scenes in The Finest Hours feature Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert – the ship’s engineer who has to take a leadership role to come up with a solution and direct the remaining survivors in how to carry it out, especially as the plan must change as the ship becomes more endangered by the minute.

Affleck has one of the most natural acting abilities you can see on screen these days as he effortlessly becomes this awkward, ostracized man who must summon every ounce of courage he can to inspire his fellow shipmates, and deliver the bad news, as well as a kick in the booty as necessary.

Pine is a wonderfully charming actor, but I fear his story and his scenes are the expected.  He carries it out well, but you kind of know where his story is going from the opening scene and through each and every twist.

Gillespie and the special effects team competently portray the ships at sea, the daring rescue attempt and more, but I don’t think you would ever use the word, “spectacular”.

2_5waffles_sml2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)       

The Finest Hours is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril.

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