The Perfect Storm

"Weak"

The Perfect Storm Review


I do not like boats. I get seasick. I hate being on the water.

As it turns out, I'm starting to dislike movies about boats, too. They also make me seasick.

The Perfect Storm is a movie about a boat, the Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat (or "swordboat" in that hip Gloucester, Mass. parlance) that sets out one fateful day, ending up smack dab in the worst storm that ever was.

Under the leadership of washed-up fisherman Billy Tyne (George Clooney), a gaggle of seamen aim to pull the motherlode out of the sea, despite the fact that the season is ending and that everyone on dry land warns them of impending bad weather. Never mind, these guys pour into the boat and head for deep water, with the likes of young Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), who must leave behind his girlfriend Christina (a haggard Diane Lane). Oddly, almost everyone in the film seems to be a divorced parent "just trying to get by."

As it turns out, the stupidest fishermen in the world live in Gloucester, Mass. (or at least that's how the movie portrays them), and when storms collide with the jet stream (narrated in an ill-advised weatherman subplot by Christopher McDonald) things get ugly. Trouble heats up when the ice machine breaks, and Billy and the boys have to decide what to do with their unexpectedly huge catch of fish, destined to make them all rich: Wait out the storm and let the catch spoil, or drive through a hurricane to get the cash.

I don't need to tell you they go for it. And when it rains, boy does it pour, with the chowderheads steaming up 100-foot waves and combating all manner of trouble to get back to port, all the while with Linda Greenlaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) raving at them to turn around like a shrieking sea hag and the single moms waiting it out at home. But greed is powerful, and they pay no heed to Linda. In the end, these are not heroes, they are men to be pitied. (Note that I intend no disrespect to these men, but the families who sold their rights allowing their portrayal as buffoons deserve to be ashamed. As a footnote, they've filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers.)

Other subplots like a capsized sailboat and an aborted Coast Guard rescue manage to fill up well over two hours of butt-numbing run time. For some reason, director Wolfgang Petersen to fill space with melodramatic exposition -- the guys don't even hit the water until 40 minutes have gone by.

After hours of listening to Hollywood's version of the Boston accent and bearing witness to Man vs. Nature played out to its terminus, you'll finally grow tired of what I must admit are some dazzling special effects. Twister looks like a sissy next to these waves. For good or for bad, they are truly nauseating -- just like being on the boat.

But effects don't get you very far if the story isn't there, and with The Perfect Storm, it ain't. Ultimately, this is a Very Special Hallmark production with big production values. Barely.

Maybe the funniest thing is a little plea in the press notes to this film begging us critics not to reveal the ending of the film. I won't tell you how it ends... I'm just glad it ended at all. Why do movies like this always take themselves so seriously?

Sheesh, a little rain never hurt anyone.

Gone fishin'.



The Perfect Storm

Facts and Figures

Run time: 130 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th June 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $325.8M

Budget: $120M

Production compaines: Warner Bros., Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, Radiant Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Capt. Billy Tyne, as Bobby Shatford, as Christina " Chris " Cotter, John C. Reilly as Dale " Murp " Murphy, as David " Sully " Sullivan, as Alexander McAnally III, as Melissa Brown, as Alfred Pierre, as Linda Greenlaw, as Mike 'Bugsy' Moran, as Edie Bailey, as Todd Gross, as Bob Brown, as Irene 'Big Red' Johnson, Janet Wright as Ethel Shatford, as Sgt. Jeremy Mitchell, as Capt. Darryl Ennis, Todd Kimsey as Lt. Rob Pettit, Chris Palermo as Flight Engineer Borgers, Wiley M. Pickett as Sgt. Millard Jones, Hayden Tank as Dale Murphy, Jr., as Debra Murphy, Jennifer Sommerfeld as Alfred Pierre's Girlfriend, as Douglas Kosco, Sandy Ward as Quentin - The Old Timer, Melissa Samuels as Pam - Todd Gross' Assistant, Steven Barr as Commander Brudnicki

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.