Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Perfect Storm

In October of 1991, off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts a hurricane from the south, a low pressure system from the east, and a Canadian low pressure system converged in what would come to be known as the storm of the century. As the epic storm began to form, a down on its luck fishing crew was headed back to Gloucester with its largest haul in a long while. As rescue crews struggle to rescue them, communications break down, and loved ones anxiously await news of their safe arrival, the crew members proudly and unknowingly press ahead into the heart of the beast. "The Perfect Storm" is an old fashioned tearjerker supplanted in a rousing seafaring adventure. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen again shows a penchant intense ship films following his landmark German export "Das Boot". While the special effects are remarkably stirring, the same cannot be said for the uninspired, cliched script and its poorly developed characters. George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg do the best with what their given, and supporters John C. Reilly, John Hawkes, and William Fitchner are colorful. Diane Lane, however, gives an annoyingly grating performance as Wahlberg's squeeze awaiting news on land. Also, a story involving the plight of a rescue unit carries no weight and takes away from the heart of the story. (spoiler) I also took umbrage with how the members of the crew were portrayed as heroes, when their actions were made out of stubbornness and stupidity and their demises could surely have been avoided. "The Perfect Storm" works as an adventure film due to Petersen's handling of the action and the impressive special effects, but a movie like this requires well defined characters and earned sentimentality, and this one just doesn't have it.