The Impossible Rescue
In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out on a mission to rescue more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel which thanks to the thinking of one of the men has been ran aground to buy them more time.
You often find me reviewing Hallmark movies and anyone who watches a lot of Hallmark movies know you are highly unlikely to find anything offensive in one of their movies. It is the same when you come across a Walt Disney Pictures movie as in my experience these movies tend to stay in the safe zone when it comes to what you see in their movies and the sort of language you will hear, even in those which are based on true stories. I mention this because "The Finest Hours" is both a movie based on a true story and one made by Walt Disney Pictures and as such this is a movie which doesn't go down the gritty, in your face, offensive path some movies would have. Basically I can't remember any real violence, nothing graphic involving people being hurt and no swearing.
But do you know what, "The Finest Hours" works as it tells this heroic story of four men saving over 30 from their stricken boat, despite everything being against them. It manages to draw you in to the people, especially the character of Bernie, as we have plenty of depth emanating from his relationships; from being in love with Miriam to the way other men at the Coast Guard mock him over some thing which happened. We also see how others hold him responsible and it all comes together to draw us to him. At the same time we are also drawn to the man who finds himself in charge of the men on the stricken ship, trying to bring this half a boat to ground before it capsizes, again fighting the odds to do the seeming impossible.
Now I have mentioned that as a Walt Disney Pictures production "The Finest Hours" is an inoffensive movie and as such may be the lack of swearing and graphic injuries do make it a little less authentic. But what it means is that we have a hugely visual production with lots of powerful effects especially when it comes to the little boat battling the massive waves which knock it this way and that. In truth the visuals save the movie because at almost 2 hours there are times that "The Finest Hours" is a little slow in moving the narrative forwards.
What this all boils down to is that "The Finest Hours" is one of those true story movies which is more entertaining than realistically dramatic. But it is a movie which, for all the nice visuals and emotional drama, is a little slow going in places.