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Review: The Finest Hours

Casey Affleck stars in Walt Disney's THE FINEST HOURS

There appeared to be potential for a really good film when looking at The Finest Hours on its surface. This contains everything necessary to turn it into a captivating piece of cinema, plus it also has the fortune of having source material based on actual events. How can you mess that up? Well, it seems like the people behind getting it into theaters had an answer that would show anyone interested just how to accomplish that.

The film takes place on February 18, 1952 when trouble arises due to a huge storm that causes problems for countless citizens as it hits the shores of New England. While everyone had to deal with it somehow, the men at sea found it even more difficult as they’re caught in the middle of mother nature’s wrath as she’s looking to bring forth danger and take lives. While the men stranded at sea try to figure out how to survive, a group of coast guards led by Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) get ready to brave the elements and bring them back home safely.

One of the features seen in The Finest Hours that does some damage can be found in the love story that’s clearly been forced into the film. This part comes off as completely inauthentic and unnecessary in every way imaginable. I can’t say this 100% certainty, but it’s appears to be pretty obvious that the only reason why this is included is so that there’s at least one female character of significance somewhere. Outside of that, it serves no real purpose at all.

Since this is based on actual events, I’m pretty sure some people will understand why there are no female characters included if they chose to stick to the actual story being told. All this does is prevent the film from being at least somewhat decent as it works as a disruptive force that gets in the way of the action and drama that people will watch this movie for. It doesn’t improve anything or add to the plot, and you’ll find yourself hoping that these scenes are skipped over so we can hurry up and get to the most important parts for us viewers.

If you choose to watch The Finest Hours in theaters, I would suggest watching it in 2D. The obvious reason is because the 3D is absolutely atrocious here. This represents another one of the issues that plagues this flick since it makes everything look and feel faker than it already is. Much of this is done via CGI and green screen, but 3D makes it look far worse. Apparently, this was added in post-production, so that could explain why it looks so dreadful.

Overall, The Finest Hours tells the remarkable story of a brave group of men who risked their lives to help others. I’m sure that along with their families, the people involved realize just how important this story is, but it’s unfortunate when the movie about it fails by being too basic and filled with unnecessary additions like 3D and a love story. Even if they were simply unable to make this movie into a memorable one, removing these features certainly could have gone a long way in improving the final cut.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Craig Gillespie

Cast:
Chris Pine
Casey Affleck
Ben Foster
Holliday Grainger
John Ortiz
Eric Bana

Film Length: 109 minutes

Release Date: January 29, 2016

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

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