|Cast overview, first billed only:|
PLOT A recounting of a New England whaling ship’s sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.
REVIEW- Aye! Avast ye landlubbers and gather round to hear the epic true tale of the the whaling ship Essex which became the mighty tale Moby Dick!
Although in the original telling of this tale I doubt it all took place against a really obvious green screen where men in boats face off against some really really, CGI whales.
Oh and if ye be expecting this film to be some sort of Alien rip-off where a alien menaces a ship full of workers then… well, you’r part right. The whale does show up, and it does indeed menace the crew its just that it’s on screen for roughly long enough to appear in the trailer before sodding off again.
This is a film with a whale in it rather than a film about a whale. The film is told in flashback by Brendon Gleeson (who apparently when younger looked exactly like the kid who’s going to play Spider-Man). It’s an interesting idea but not really one that works. Sometimes it tells us things that we already know and others it comes into scenes that should have been silent. Show -Don’t Tell.
The plots nothing to write home about either, out-of-his-depth-captain (played rather well by Benjamin Walker) knows-everything second in command (Chris Hemsworth trying to not be Thor in a movie for once.) And not forgetting the crew/redshirts who’s names…. escape me for the moment.
Although, once the ship sinks (SPOILER) and the characters are trapped in rowboats thousands of miles from home and they begin to waste away the film becomes the most impressive that it’s going to be. (And credit to the actors who lived on a 500 calorie a day diet in order to look like bags of bones.)
I love ocean going epics, I love the idea of a “tall ship and a star to steer her by.” But this? Too much CGI, not enough depth to the characters and crucially, not enough whale.
My Score- If Nothing Else