Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Finest Hours...Review

by Al Kessel

The Finest Hours is a heroic action thriller based on the true story of a 1952 U.S. Coast Guard rescue based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name written by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias. In February of 1952, one of the worst storms ever to hit the East Coast of the United States struck New England, severely damaging two oil tankers (literally tearing them both in half) off the coast of Cape Cod. Four members members of the Coast Guard set off into the dangerously cold waters and 70 foot waves, on a 36 foot lifeboat in search of survivors. 

Lead by a sailor with a troubled past Bernie Webber (played by Star Trek's Chris Pine), four rescuers, including three volunteers (played by Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner and John Magaro), set out to find and rescue any survivors. To all the local observers of this mission, it's a one destined to fail, however, Bernie amazingly manages to find the survivors, rescue them and get everyone back home... Ok, it's not exactly THAT simple, but remember, we don't like to give away any spoilers! Rest assured there's a LOT of action and suspense. And even though historically we know the outcome of the mission, it's still a pretty fun and harrowing ride.

As with so many movies, the beginning is a bit slow as they set up the situations. But in all honesty, most of the prelude scenes contribute to the overall arc of the story, and it really does lend to the emotional 'tug' of the movie. Personally, I think this movie was well crafted, well directed and pretty well acted. Chris Pine (though I must admit, I was half expecting Captain Kirk) delivers probably his best performance ever. Casey Affleck (you know, Batman's little brother?) does a great job as the loner engineer/survivor on one of the troubled tankers, who finds himself with the lives of his fellow sailors in his hands. In fact, I think this may be one of my favorite roles for Affleck. 

Like many action/adventure type movies, The Finest Hours isn't 100% awesome. There are some ify parts that can be sort of, well, cringeworthy. But all in all, it's a pretty good movie. And definitely an underrated movie. I'll be honest, when we saw that this movie was coming to theaters, I thought 'nope. Not interested'. But I was wrong. In fact, I probably would have liked to see this on the 'big screen'. 

Coming in at just under two hours, The Finest Hours earns a wave riding 4 stars out of 5.

Now available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, Digital SD and Disney Movies Anywhere. 

Bonus Features Include:
 * Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story - Visit the quaint and close knit town of Chatham and experience the events surrounding the most heroic Coast Guard rescue ever through the eyes of the people who witnessed them.

 * Brotherhood  - Cast members reflect on the bonds they forged during shooting.

 * Two Crews - Chris Pine and Casey Affleck share insights into Bernie Webber and Ray Sybert (portrayed by Affleck), men who led their respective crews against all odds.

 * Deleted Scenes