THE PERFECT STORM (Theater Release USA 2000)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.2|5.0 Stars ììì

The Perfect Storm—based on the true story of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat that fails to return home—tries to perform as a ‘big-scale’ movie, but falls short of its aim. This tragic story has no happy ending and is a deep reminder of nature’s power to end life.

Storyline

A fishing boat comes to shore in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Fall 1991, with a small catch. Men wrench in a bucket of fish and throw them on ice. A carpenter planes a thin piece of wood for a boat. Other men wrap up buoys in nets. The camera moves to an old mansion turned into a City Hall and shows a plaque that says ‘Gloucester Settled in 1623, Incorporated into a town in 1642, a city 1873’. The camera then shows a ship in a glass case, a security guard sleeping in a chair against the wall with two lists of names posted to each side of him. The camera starts to zoom in on the ship in the glass case and the screen changes to one of the posters with two columns: one from 1914 and the other from 1918. Then the screens change to columns from 1804, 1805, 1813, 1789, 1924, 1929 that list people who have died at sea. Then the camera shows a metal statue of a fisherman driving his boat while looking across an endless ocean. The camera shows a room with curtains flapping in a storm and a sleeping woman calling out, ‘Bobby’. She awakes, gets out of bed, walks to the window, and looks into a tranquil night graced with a calm ocean, and the story is off and running.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Wolfgang Petersen for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Duncan Henderson and Barry Levinson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Billy Tyne (George Clooney), Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), Dale Murphy (John C. Reilly), Christina Cotter (Diane Lane), David Sullivan (William Fichtner), Mike Moran (John Hawkes), Alfred Pierre (Allen Payne), Linda Greenlaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), and Melissa Brown (Karen Allen).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. While the film is not remarkable, it is not often that Hollywood chooses to tell a story about fishing as a livelihood and the perils that accompany that trade. It’s a fair afternoon watch even though it presents nothing new in story and does not offer a happy ending.

Ben Meyers

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