Achieving the impossible is something that everyone wants to accomplish at some point in their life, whether it be mastering a perfect SAT score or winning an Olympic gold medal for track despite a broken leg. In reality, these extreme instances are rarely granted, making the few that have occurred historical and even life defining. In the world of film, however, having a misunderstood character defeat the impossible is a go-to plot line, making this occurrence become the opposite of memorable for an audience.
“The Finest Hour” is based on the 1952 SS Pendleton tragedy in which a frightening nor’easter storm split the ship in half. Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), an introverted, awkward engineer onboard the SS Pendleton, predicts that the ship will sink within a matter of hours and details the procedures the crew must follow to save their lives. The other protagonist of the story, Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), a personable yet pushover coxswain, selflessly takes himself and three other men on a small lifeboat to save the crew.
My favorite aspect of the movie are its likeable characters. Like Sybert, Webber is looked down upon by the other members of his crew for being a weakling but gradually develops confidence and becomes more assertive. It was interesting to see how both men changed in similar ways before even meeting each other.
No matter how complex or interesting a character was in “The Finest Hour,” there was still nothing that could fill in the detrimental hole on the ship that was caused by the lack of a unique, captivating plot line. Although “The Finest Hour” was a relatively “fine” movie, its failure to be anything more than that flooded the movie with predictability and tediousness and sank it down to forgettable oblivion.
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars