In the Heart of the Sea
There once was a man from Nantucket...
Classic Elsternwick - Saturday 5 December 2015, 11:55am
Running time: 122m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Survival themes)
Release date: 03/12/15
Cost: $11 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 2.5/5)
Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) is conducting research for his upcoming novel Moby Dick. As part of this he eventually persuades the remaining survivor of the ill-fated whaling ship The Essex, Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), the share the true story of the ships final journey. From here we go back 30 years to find the Essex's captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) at odds with hunky first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) as they set said on a quest to bring back whale oil but which will result in disaster.
In the Heart of the Sea is the latest big budget spectacular from Ron Howard. It’s an interesting story with some good performances (Tom Holland as young Thomas Nickerson was a surprising standout) but it takes a while to get going. Once it eventually finds its pace it has difficulty to sustain it and gave me plenty of time to compose witty descriptions (My harpoon will go on? The Oily Way is Essex?) instead of being fully absorbed. The special effects are good and there are shots obviously designed for the 3D experience, but there’s a fake look about the film that doesn’t help with the suspension of disbelief. The story within a story approach adds little to the experience and just served to unnecessarily elongate the film. There are some interesting moral questions raised and the scenes of whales being slaughtered are suitably uncomfortable.
We’ve been waiting for this film for a while, having first seen the trailer for it before The Imitation Game on New Year’s Day. Moving the original release date from March through to December suggests the studio was hopeful of a prestige release in the lead-up to Oscar season, but unfortunately it’s an unremarkable piece of cinema. Disappointing. (ME)