Photo Credit: Movie Pilot
Disney’s The Finest Hours, released in theaters nationwide on January 29, tells the tale of a little-known yet fairly amazing rescue that took place back in the 1950s, based on Michael J. Tougias’ and Casey Sherman’s novel, The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue which chronicled the true story of the Pendleton rescue mission attempt in February of 1952.
The adventure disaster film is directed by Craig Gillespie, who stages it like a 1950s war epic. And, thanks largely to a cast led by Casey Affleck and Chris Pine, it manages to stay afloat.
Chris Pine, Time magazine writes, “is the guy you want showing up in the rescue boat.” The Star Trek actor plays Bernie Webber, the man who gathered a volunteer group and headed out to sea off the coast of Cape Cod, steering into impossible conditions in the dead of night to reach a crippled oil tanker.
Casey Affleck is the guy that nobody likes, Raymond Sybert, the ingenious chief engineer of the oil tanker that split in two. The actor who is perhaps best known for the 2007 award-winning western drama, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, told ABC News of the story, “It’s incredible. I had never heard of it. I was drawn to this because of the sort of old fashioned heroics of it.
“It’s one of those things that someone finds it and they think, ‘My God. This is incredible. Let’s call Casey.”
Casey’s “social awkwardness,” says Time, is “written right into the flat tunelessness of his voice, yet he’s the one who best understands the fragile relationship between his vessel and the threatening seas.”
Bernie (Chris) and Ray (Casey) are both quiet men, who start out barely making eye contact with others, yet end up making choices that save dozens of lives. Their form of heroism makes an interesting contrast to the “macho aggressiveness” of the recent Benghazi movie 13 Hours, notes The Verge, which calls the Walt Disney production, “an old-school throwback to a much earlier age of Disney filmmaking” due to its “unhurried pacing, wholesome relationships, sentimental journey, and message of uplift.”
While it may take its “sweet time getting its sea legs,” writes Variety’s Andrew Barker, “Once it gets to the moment of truth,” the movie “is a fully respectable nautical nailbiter.”