Some of the most amazing stories of our time are real life events that some people have never heard about. The latest from Disney, The Finest Hours features not only a great cast including Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana, but also an event that has stood the test of time in the history of the Coast Guard. The trailers have hyped up the film with the tag regarding this feat, but does the film capture this important and amazing event or will it sink before the rescue could ever be made?
The Finest Hours follows one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half in February of 1952. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. This is one of those movies that is both hit and miss as it is exciting during the disaster and rescue sequences, but the story wrapped around it doesn’t do all that much. The initial story is meant to set up a romance between the two main characters assumingly meant to make the dire situation of when he heads out to sea to be more impactful as well as an end moment that plays a big part, but it just falls flat. There are aspects of this that feels forced and out of place which is sad because there is an exciting movie wrapped around it. Thankfully the major point to this story is executed great.
Out at sea there are two stories happening, those that are struggling to survive after the accident and that of the coast guard members fighting to get to them. The story on the main ship as they fight to survive offers up some of the best sequences with a lot of excitement and tragedy. There are some edge of your seat moments that deliver the desired effect and coupled with seeing some interesting directions they take to survive makes for some great scenes. Just as exciting are those on the smaller coast guard ship, but in a more action packed way as they fight through the storm with little cover, determined to get to the ship. Of everything though the rescue sequence is visually the best as you being to see the various character come together to not only work together, but also come to terms with their situation and what has to be done. It’s at this moment that you get an even better understanding of how hard this rescue really had to be and how amazing it was that they pulled it off at all.
In the end this is an exciting movie, but is sadly thrown off due to the story on land that tends to take some of the impact away. Every time you really start getting into the intensity of it all, it shifts focus to the slow paced stuff going on land and makes it loose the steam it created. This is a movie that should be seen on the big screen for the full effect of the rescue, dangers and effects, but at the same time be prepared for the way it is broken up so that you have a better understanding of what you are walking into. If you have ever heard of this story or find the trailers exciting then decide for yourself and check it out.