A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Contact Me

In the Heart of the Sea

Director:  Ron Howard
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  2.0

American novelist Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) pays the last surviving member of whaling vessel The Essex, Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), to tell him about the atrocities that took place after a terrible encounter with a white whale ... and the heroism of the ship's first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth). Howard is fine scooting his camera around and making the action scenes feel exciting, but he - working from a script by Charles Leavitt (based on the non-fiction book by Nathaniel Philbrick) - can't work the same wonders with the flat, vaguely drawn characters: at first it tries setting up a (forced) rivalry between Chase and the boat's captain Pollard (Benjamin Walker) but then abandons it once the predatory sea monster starts flipping around and behaving like a guided missile. More could have been done with the (elder) Nickerson character - he suffers from some kind of PTSD ... and as we're learning, people with that condition don't just open up to anyone.

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2018 Matthew Lotti.