Fifteen years after ‘The Perfect Storm’, are we ready once again to plunge into icy offshore waters? Even though ‘The Finest Hours’ – about a real-life sea rescue in 1952 – has truth and honest-to-God heroism on its side, its fake-looking computerised squall is a turn-off.
Among the movie’s mostly undistinguished performances, only ‘Star Trek’ star Chris Pine and the always-interesting Casey Affleck stand out. Pine plays rookie coast guard Bernie Webber, piloting a tugboat to rescue the crew of a capsized oil tanker. Affleck, aboard the stranded vessel, is a quizzically quiet engine man whose cool head and technical solutions (one of them demonstrated with a hard-boiled egg) eventually come to impress the other men.
But despite the built-in suspense, the film’s a wash-out, ladling on camera lurches, foamy spray and dangling-ladder escapes. You never quite shake the sensation that you’re watching a big-budget screensaver – no one ever seems in actual jeopardy, even as the sea rises in a furious, digitally rendered chop.