Pretty intense, and
very engaging. This movie tells a good story, assuming the
characters are heroes, when nobody knows how they reacted to being in
the situations they were in. It's about being human, and making
decisions that affect not only your life, but the lives of others who
The Perfect Storm has many things going for it, and very few
that detract from it. The two things that struck me the most as jolting
me out of the movie experience were the poor special effects of the tankers
caught in the storm, and the bad accents from just about everybody involved. The tankers set the mood as to how dangerous the storms were, but ILM has
done much better. They just looked fake. But it was neat to
see all those containers slip into the ocean. As for the actors,
they did very well, but their maritime accents kept coming and going. They were very prevalent at the beginning of the movie, and were very bad. It looked like they were trying too hard, and the accent only came out
on every other word. Toward the middle, they almost disappeared
But while those points took me away from the movie, several things
drew me right in. One of those things, which surprised me, was George
Clooney. He managed to stay away from his shy tuck-of-the-head and
mumble-something-under-his-breath personality, even while playing a distant and shy
character. Impressive. The other thing that impressed me was
the music. Wow! James Horner also did Titanic,
so I should not be surprised. I was completely drawn in when he scored
the music so that we needed to be drawn in. The tension was high with
just the visuals. The music cranked it up even higher.
Finally, this was a love story that worked. We knew that
Bobby was going into danger, and that he should have stayed home, to be
with his loved one, Christina. But he goes out anyway. The
setup was terrific, and I really got a sense that these two people loved
each other with passion. It helps that this is based on a true story,
and that perhaps the real Christina could have had some input.
What I didn't realize was that nobody survived. We were
rooting for at least somebody to survive this disaster, and I was completely
shocked at the outcome. Apparently, this was known by people who
watch more TV than I do. This means that there is no report as to
what happened to these people. We don't know if they scored big with
all those fish, or if they started tearing each others throats apart before
they even hit the storm. But we have to assume that they were heroes,
because we just don't know.
The story is really human. Billy is a fishing boat captain
who is down on his luck. He and his crew are not making much money,
because they can't catch any fish. Linda is another captain who keeps
trying to get Billy to team up with her. It is implied that they
are leaning towards a romantic relationship. In any case, they are
really good friends.
Bobby and Christina want to make a life together, but they have
no money. Bobby thought that last fishing trip might would bring
in more money, but is sorely disappointed. He signs on when the captain
sets out on another fishing trip when they have been in port for only two
days. Christina is in tears, and they get into a fight when he tells
her this, but they part on good terms.
There are other characters, and they are just as human as these
people. On the boat, they get on each others' nerves. Back
in the town, they gather together to talk about their missing fishermen. They track three storm fronts, which collide. The boat, the Andrea
Gail, has to go out farther and farther to get fish. They miss the
storm, but they have to pass through it to get home. In the best
of circumstances, they could stay out on the ocean until the storm passes,
but their ice machine breaks. So they either wait for the storm to
pass, letting their fish spoil, or go through it. They need the money,
so there is no question.
What follows is their exploits through the storm, as well as
the exploits of an Air Force rescue helicopter. These scenes are intercut very well, and increase the tension even higher. The rescue
copter saves a sailboat crew, who foolishly tried to sail through the hurricane. It takes several tries, and I was not sure if any of the crewmembers, or
the Air Force crew, would make it back. Amazing direction there!
Linda realizes where the Andrea Gail is headed, and that their
antenna must be broken (in a massive wave that looked very real). She calls rescue, and the helicopter goes looking for them. Unfortunately,
they have trouble refueling, and end up running out of fuel. They
have to ditch the helicopter, and wait for their ship to pick them up. That scene in itself was amazing. I wasn't sure if the rescue ship
would survive the waves coming from that storm.
The Andrea Gail doesn't lose a crewmember until the very end.
They mostly stay wisely below decks. So much happens that we wonder
how the boat manages to stay afloat. The rollover scenes were terrific.
The try to board up the windows after a piece of their stabilizer smashes
it, and almost lose two crewmembers. Wow!
In the end, of course, the ship sinks. I'm not sure if
a wave could crest the way it was shown, out in the open ocean. Seems
to me that it requires land to make a wave crest, but maybe it's different
in a hurricane situation. In any case, the boat is flipped over,
bow to stern, and it doesn't right itself. In time, it fills with
water, and the crew can't get out. Bobby survives the sinking, but
not the storm.
The movie continues on for a few minutes after that, showing
us how the people of that small town mourned their loved ones. Christina
is especially hit hard. Wow, did I feel for her.
This was a good story, wrapped up in a good, attractive package. I would let it settle in my mind for a while, and then see it again in
an instant. The poor accents and tanker effects can't bring this
one down too much.