Thursday, December 17, 2015

[Review] In the Heart of the Sea

If it seems like the trailers for In the Heart of the Sea have been showing for a mighty long time, that's because they have been. This Ron Howard film is based on the real story that inspired the famous tale of Moby Dick, and it's largely underwhelming and overly familiar.

Current megastar Chris Hemsworth plays First Mate to Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker). Them and a crew of early 18th century manbuns set out on a whaling ship voyage, and as you already know, they run into a legendary gigantic whale.

Aside from some grand scale visuals and a solid musical score, In the Heart of the Sea sinks as a mediocre piece of man vs. nature, as well as the lost-at-sea genre. It takes longer than you want to set sail, and it's very talky (and yell-y) and full of lulls. Even though Chris Hemsworth gives a physically demanding performance with a dramatic weight loss along the way, there isn't much emotional connection to any of the characters themselves. They're all a bit bland.

The film also suffers from peaking too early. The whale, which looks great underwater but appears a little CGI heavy when it emerges--comes and goes at the midway point. It certainly is the most thrilling part of the story, but unfortunately the entire back half of the narrative drifts into a slogging survival mode, and it isn't worth the seasickness.


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