Production company: Village Roadshow Pictures
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Ben Whishaw
Wanting to tell the legendary tale of the survivors of the destroyed whaling ship The Essex, Herman Melville (Whishaw) meets with one of the aged survivors (Brendan Gleeson) so he can write the story of what really happened. And Melville is treated to a story of warring shipmates (Hemsworth and Walker), of an enormous vengeful whale, a story of starvation and survival and brotherhood unlike any he expected to hear - all in the hopes of writing the great American Epic that later became Moby Dick.
This was a movie I was not anticipating liking at all - it didn't get a lot of advertising when it was in theaters, and I didn't really hear much about it at all. I was ready for subpar CGI, cheap thrills, and an overall dull movie that lasted way too long. But I was pleasantly surprised - In the Heart of the Sea was actually a stunning, action-packed movie that kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire two hours!
The story of this movie was really interesting and gripping - I thought it was literally the story of Moby Dick, but it's the story that inspired it: a whaling ship is brutally attacked by a rogue sperm whale and the surviving sailors have to fight for their lives while lost over 2000 miles out to sea! Wow! The characters were equally amazing too - Chris Hemsworth is both charming, and terrifying, as were all the rest of the actors in the movie too. I also thought it was a cool addition that Herman Melville pulled this story out of a troubled sailor who was haunted by being a survivor, it got pretty emotional at times and that was a nice touch.
This movie also went to some pretty dark places, it held a perfect
balance of being amazingly exciting and gut-wrenchingly intense!
If I have to be picky I would say that the CGI used in this movie was far from the best - but it definitely wasn't bad! The movie didn't make up for the less-than-sufficient CGI with tricky photography or shaky camerawork - it was bold-faced and honest! "Hey, these are the whales we got to work with and we are not ashamed!" But I wouldn't jump at watching this movie again - it was an awesome first time watch, and it was definitely memorable...it just didn't leave a strong enough impact on me to keep it in my collection. But I'm not upset that I took the time to watch it.
For a whale of a tale, this is a great one-time watch.
In the Heart of the Sea gets a 3 OF 5 must own for those who love historical fiction movies, movies that star Chris Hemsworth, or those who love the classic tale of Moby Dick and would have interest in hearing the story that inspired that tale. At least give this movie one watch - it deserves that, if anything.