By in Movies & TV

Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea

The film, In the Heart of the Sea , is scheduled to be released this week in movie theatres in the U.S., but I had the opportunity to get a sneak preview here on the Naval base where I live.

Director and Actors

The film was directed by Ron Howard, and based on a non-fiction book, by the same name, written by Nathaniel Philbrick a decade-and-a-half ago.

It starred Australian actor, Chris Hemsworth, as the first mate (Owen Chase) of the whaling ship, Essex. Most know him best as Thor from the Avenger movies.

The captain of the Essex (Captain George Pollard, Jr.), was played by American actor and comic, Benjamin Walker.

Story and more actors

The period film took place in the 1820s, when the Essex launched on a whaling voyage, but was sunk after heavy damage by a very large, enraged sperm whale. Nowhere was land in sight for over a thousand miles, and the shipwrecked crew was stranded at sea for three months. They set out to get to South America without having enough provisions to last for all who survived the wreck.

The story is told to the author of Moby Dick, (Ben Whishaw, as Herman Melville), by old, and troubled Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson). He recounted his story as a cabin boy (young Thomas played by Tom Holland) aboard the Essex. This included being forced to resort to cannibalism in order to survive.

My review

This film was not nearly as exciting as the trailer made it out be. There were times when the cinematography was terrific, but I found this to be rather a disappointing film. It had been hyped-up to be an "adventure thriller" but it was rather average.

If you like the old sailing ships, or stories of days of yore, when boys become men at sea, then there might be some redeeming qualities.

I could not help thinking about the difficulties of being a sailor out at sea in the 1800s, and how the young boys who join the Navy today, 200 years later, would never have survived the harrowing experiences. It might have been because I was sitting in a theatre full of those who rely on video games and 3-D movies for their thrills.

The acting was not bad. Yet, there was nothing I found to be exceptional. It was just an "okay" story. We did not even get any eye-candy shots of Hemsworth, like we did in Thor . After all, he was starving at sea in this one.

In the Heart of the Sea was not much more than any other fish story-- "the big one that got away."

My rating 3 Stars out of 5.

Image Credit » by Angelo_Giordano

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LeaPea2417 wrote on December 6, 2015, 2:14 PM

I just may see this. It does sound interesting. I bet our local "theater 6" will be showing it.

msiduri wrote on December 6, 2015, 3:48 PM

That's too bad. I've read a couple of excerpts from the account of the Essex. Those poor bastards has just about everything thrown at them. It's really in the "you can't make this stuff up" category. You'd think it would make for a great yarn.

JohnRoberts wrote on December 6, 2015, 3:50 PM

The problem I have with the movie is that it is the umpteenth recount of Moby Dick. Same old story now matter how you dress it up. They can't make a ship in the old days movie with a new story?

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 3:59 PM

This is biographical, so I found it to be better, in that regard

MegL wrote on December 6, 2015, 6:03 PM

I seldom watch films any more. This is just another one to avoid. emoticon :grin:

markgraham wrote on December 6, 2015, 7:42 PM

The book was good, but I like stories and this is like Moby Dick, when I saw the trailer that is what it reminded me of.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 8:23 PM

Hm, based on your review I'm beginning to think I can wait until this one hits Netflix to see it rather than spend the money on a theater ticket.

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:46 PM

I can get in for less than $5 here on base, and occasionally for free like with this sneak preview. It's a good deal. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:46 PM

That's what it's about...the writing of Moby Dick

CoralLevang wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:47 PM

The only advantage I could see to watching in the theatre is the 3-D, if you are into that.