Too big a fish to be caught – “In the Heart of the Sea” review


Devin King | Reporter
Friday, Dec. 11; 10:20 a.m.

Considering the amount of manpower and the margin for error movies have, it is amazing that good movies exist at all. Despite talented actors, camera workers and managers, the fact that thousands of people put countless hours into such difficult tasks means that even if there is a great story to be told in a film, it can prove to be too much.

“In the Heart of the Sea”, which is directed by the talented Ron Howard, is a film that feels too ambitious for its own good. Despite be based on a fascinating real story and having a well-seasoned staff, there is too much to tell in the film’s 122-minute run time to give an adaptation that the true story is worthy of. And this is especially disappointing since it is clear that an unimaginable amount of effort was put into the film.

“In the Heart of the Sea” tells the true story of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex crewed by Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) and first officer Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) in 1820.

Narration and plot is given a much larger priority over fluidity and character development. There is such a large emphasis on the events that the movie moves from scene to scene without making any lasting impacts.

None of the characters have a strong dynamic as well, with the most fleshed out character being Pollard who is pretty one dimensional himself. This also led to no notable performances as well as it felt like I was looking at actors impersonating a character, rather than actually feeling like real characters were on the screen.

If there is a silver-lining, it is definitely the visuals. While the CG storms were not impressive, the combination of beautiful set locations and gorgeous ocean visuals were pure eye candy.

In the end, “In the Heart of the Sea” does not feel like a Howard film. In fact, it feels like a heavily studio-involved film since it has no uniqueness to itself. The potential to create an excellent film was there, but this fish was clearly too big to be caught.