Listed below is a short excerpt from the script but don’t worry – it’s 100% spoiler free. In fact I’ll even hide the names of who said what to make it even more spoiler free:
A: “Ain’t nobuhd nah grun omble th sanbar”
B: “Sees m’ jar and tey arhg prrpl ah nee”
A: “It’s serrrcie! Yernbie kar’n bunk. Finuhk ayar layee”
Powerful, powerful stuff. Sure, it’s incomprehensible but I’m sure it would be powerful if I could understand what the fuck they were on about.
This is one of the biggest issues with The Finest hours is that a quarter of the lines are mumbled with as much comprehension as Sylvester Stallone waking up from general anaesthetics. It really does make it difficult to understand the nuance or drama in any given scene.
This problem is only compounded by some poor audio editing. You will find some lines are definitely spoken well but are drowned out by the whooshing of water or general engine noises or the sound of the pumps on the sinking SS Pendleton.
You could argue that this adds to the authenticity of the film and to be fair; if someone was complaining about elocution when you were on half a tanker that’s slowly sinking into a cold sea, in the midst of a storm, with no radio communication, then you would rightfully tie an anvil to the morons head, jam a sign where the sun doesn’t shine saying “Dear sharks… enjoy” and throw him the hell overboard.
Yet, this is a film and it’s purpose is to evoke drama and emotion from you and a key part of that is knowing what people are saying.
Apart from the above the only other thing that I found as a turn off was the over-usage of CGI. Normally I don’t have an issue with heavy CGI usage but water is notoriously difficult to get right and in turn makes it difficult to suspend your disbelief accordingly.
Still, these are relatively minor complaints when taking the film as a whole because it’s not a bad little story of human perseverance, camaraderie and subverting pre-conceptions and prejudices.
A key example here is Chris Pine’s character; Bernie Webber, who is quiet, subdued and nervously plays by the book at all times. I have to admit, it’s wasn’t exactly a gripping character but it was really good to see Chris Pine differentiate himself that annoyingly handsome dude that he is so often cast to play.
There are two other examples of this with Holliday Grainger playing Miriam Webber; this film’s most enigmatic character, who is a strong and outspoken female during the good old days where women where chained to the kitchen. The other such example is Ray Sybert played by Casey Affleck who is a lonesome engineer on the sinking SS Pendleton.
What this film does is gradually champion the introverted and downtrodden until they become heroes in everybody’s eyes. Those who were bullish before have to give up their pride and admit they are wrong and let’s face it; this world needs more humility.
I was quite surprised that the part of this film I enjoyed the most was not a daring and dramatic rescue but human interactions instead. Whilst this film has its share of problems it’s certainly not a disaster on the scale of the SS Pendleton, 2015’s The Fantastic Four or err… my face, but neither will it be the finest 2 hours of your life.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Heart-warming story
+ Chris Pine playing someone vulnerable
+ Underdog story
– Poor sound mixing
– Mumbled lines