||A beautiful movie, both in terms of
scenery, cinematography, and the sailboats.
I remember the first time I saw this
movie, on the big screen. Seeing the boats literally flying through the
water was truly amazing. The way this film was shot, any big screen puts
the viewer right on the sailboats.
The races were quite exciting,
dramatically. The director and cinematographer did such an amazing job,
featuring the race from unique angles, along all of the boats, that they
barely needed any dialog to accompany them -which is good, because they don't get it.
That is probably the biggest problem
with this movie, which is a small one, really. The scenery takes front
stage, letting the sailboats be the main characters at that point, so
that the human characters become secondary.
The movie is split into three parts.
The first part is training for and sailing America's Cup in the US,
which is exciting enough. The entire movie is a character study between
Will and Kate, sailors by nature, but who walk different paths. I love
the race between the smaller boats, which Will and Kate nearly
win, but fall over because he loses his balance -foreshadowing that he
is not ready for this challenge.
They both have dreams, and his is to
serve on a boat that wins America's Cup. He tries to include her, but
unfortunately, there is no choice when he is forced to either resign from the
race because she was cut from the boat, or to stay and be chief
tactician on the race boat. The rift that forms stays with them for the
rest of the movie.
Through a series of errors and mishaps,
including a very serious accident, Will hands the Americans their first
defeat ever in this race, an event that has been going on for over 130 years. It
isn't really his fault, as the skipper was talking to him at a critical
moment, distracting him, and the skipper also ignored his advice at
critical moments. The defeat crushes them all.
The second part of the movie doesn't
take place in the water at all (excepting the design swimming pool and a
small river). Kate went off to design gliders and aircraft in an
aeronautical engineering research centre (really just a run-down hangar
in the middle of nowhere), and Will goes out there to find her. The
requisite love triangle emerges when he discovers that she and Joe, the
chief designer, are lovers.
The fun comes when Joe takes an
interest in America's Cup, in designing a new sailboat, with Will. This
irks Kate; I think she is bothered at how well they get along! They
don't really get along, though. In what is probably the movie's funniest
scene, they argue about the role of mathematics and intuition in the
boat design, followed immediately by a scene where they are constantly
deferring to each other, congratulating each other on the brilliance of
the designs, each trying to be more humble than the other!
To gain funding, Will goes back to his
old skipper, who refuses him, but he finds money and love (sex, at
least), in the skipper's daughter. She and Joe are able to raise enough
money from the private sector to build the boat.
The fun, for me, of this part of the
movie is the aeronautical design. Watching them do experiments in the
water, similar to my water tunnel, the dynamics of flight (and the words
Reynolds number actually make it into the movie!), and attaching the
sail to Kate's truck, not to mention their renewed interest in each
other during the wind storm, were all great to see.
The last part of the movie is regaining
America's Cup from the Australians who beat them the last time. This one
contains the least dialog, but it's also a lot of fun, and is quite
exciting. It's unfortunate that we don't get to see too many of the
other races, but given the character development the movie needs, that's
understandable. More mishaps make the two races that we do see rather
fun, as well. It's inevitable that Kate will become tactician at Will's
side, especially after race six, where the previous tactician caused a
collision by underestimating the distance between the boats. The press
conference is hilarious, with the accusations running back and forth. I
really liked the Australian skipper. He was a real competitor, but not
an evil guy. It was almost as heartbreaking to see him lose as for our
guys -but not quite. It's cool to see the Geronimo team spirit when they
give their spare mast to the competition so that they can race the next
Of course, the Americans seem to get a
lot of men down, as on the next and final race, another man goes
overboard with their sail. To make up the time lost while saving him,
they have to use Kate's new sail, the Whomper. She gets a hilarious line
out of it, too, something along the lines of "the whomper -you
know: when you put
it up, it expands with a huge sound like whomp!", then proceeds to call
him names for not knowing about it when she designed it in the desert.
The other cool scene comes when the
wind dies in the Australian seas. After a long wait, Kate sees the wind
approaching on the water surface, managing to get them a four boat lead
before the other boat figures it out. She knew all of the technical
details -even being the first woman to sail in America's Cup. This is
one of the few specific scenes that has stayed with me since the last
time I saw the movie.
We get to see Will grow up in the third
part, as well, as he finally gets to tell his old skipper that he
doesn't need him. Will was ready to lead, now.
So Geronimo wins the race, of course,
just coming a nose ahead of the Australians, in what was a terrific
finale. The Australian sea seemed a lot rougher than the American one,
and I wonder if they filmed in different parts of the world to get that
That is the real shortcoming of this
DVD- the fact that there are no behind-the-scenes features at all. Not
even the crappy Entertainment Tonight ones. All we get is the theatrical
trailer (among two others), which shows us scenes that were not in the
movie. We definitely could have used some deleted scenes here. Or even
music during the menus. Because the music throughout the movie was
spectacular. It was really epic, and built through the races, and even
became triumphant during the desert trials.
My only other real complaint is the quick
ending. The movie went by so quickly, that I didn't feel the
over-two-hours pass, so I could have used some closure to everything.
Ending on the big race was fine, but I would have liked to see more than
just a kiss as reconciliation between Will and Kate. I think Joe and
Abigail, the millionaire's daughter, actually fell in love, but can't
I really love this movie, because it is
so exciting, and triumphant. It features such beautiful photography (and
Jennifer Grey -wow!) that even though I don't know anything about
sailing (but lots about aerodynamics), it really drew me in and
captivated me. I don't understand why it was not successful in theatres
or with movie fans, because it has all of the elements needed for a