The Perfect Storm Reviews
Saw this on 2/2/15
Wolfgang Petersen directs The Perfect Storm exquisitely and it effectively portrays the horrors of sea. The visual effects are extraordinary and the cinematography is fine. The film has got plenty of good acting from all the stars except Diane Lane who at towards unbearable extends. One good thing about this film is that it does not try to show the effects of the storm on just one ship on whom the main actors are aboard, but instead it shows the turmoils of a few other ships that are drowned in the storm and also the Coast Guard rescue team that tries to help these people. In doing so, some may feel that the film fails to provide enough characterization for it's key players. The dialogues are way too cheesy and that's disappointing.
Acting - 7
Writing - 6
Dialogue - 7.5
Plot & Characterization - 5
Cinematography & Editing - 8
Soundtrack/Score & Set Design - 7
How much I enjoyed it personally - 6.5
Three storms collided together resulting in an eruption of waves that went to over a hundred feet high, making it impossible for George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg's crew and themselves to survive.
As the spectacular visual effects are impressive and present an unmatchable goal to the movie's big challenge there's still lack of character development for Clooney and Wahlberg's characters and the main supporting ones, which are the crewmen. For the crewmen who spent most of the screen time in the movie. I just felt it needed that to add a bit of interest to there parts and bit of realistic emotions.
This movie makes me think of the movie 'The Guardian' which starred Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. It was about United States Coast Guards had similar downsides that The Perfect Storm had. All that aside, The Perfect Storm is a fairly good movie.
As with most disaster films, particularly those with ensemble casts and a large array of stock characters, the humanity in The Perfect Storm is not that great. The only difference is that The Perfect Storm actually teies. The script isn't perfect and much of its characters are cheesy, but as a whole they actually do end up contributing a humane side to The Perfect Storm. Many viewers will find it a bit too sentimental as the characters talk out their troubles against the sad music of the film, but I enjoyed it becauuse instead of being blank and dull, there was actually attempts to give the emotions in the film a true sense of meaning. There are many moments in the film where the sentimentality of the film turns into unnecesarry melodrama which doesn't really add all that much to the feature, but as a whole I felt as if The Perfect Storm was able to work on a human level and that I certainly maintained sympathy for the characters more so than in countless other disaster films. The driving force in the successful dramatisation of all this is the musical score. I studied the film closesly and felt that without the music during many of its dialogue sequences it would fall flat and that the musical score gave it the perfect edge of dramatisation. This is important because the film does spend quite a bit of time building background to the titular disaster before it actually occurs, and that usually can be a burden. But thanks to the musical score, the general feeling of it all is pretty good. In the end I found that despite the fact that The Perfect Storm was a lot more focused on being a strong spectacle than on characterization, I found that the characters in the film were good enough to create an emotional atmosphere, and the musical score in The Perfect Storm is just beautiful, and it captures both the large scale of disaster during many scenes just as easily as it assists the emotional nature of the sentimental dramatic moments.
But the most important thing about The Perfect Storm is that it succeeds as a visual spectacle. The trip back to sea is not as good as Wolfgang Peterson's critically acclaimed German film Das Boot, but it is nevertheless an entertaining feature which realy benefits from having him as director. Wolfgang Peterson works The Perfect Storm very well because he is able to emphasise the tragedy of the story well enough to ensure that the story honours the memory of everyone that passed away in The Perfect Storm and the families that suffered from the loss. Despite what a lot of critics have said, I found that The Perfect Storm was a touching sentiment which did actually succeed on a human level even though it was a lot more focused on technical elements. As that is what Wolfgang Peterson is best at, it is no surpise just how good The Perfect Storm ends up looking. The Perfect Storm easily capitalises on its huge budget by using it to hire big name actors to start off the film, but more importantly by spending it all on ensuring that the film looks excellent. It makes a smart decision in both areas, predominantly in the latter because The Perfect Storm is an awesome visual experience. Admittedly for me there was only so much time I could spend seeing a boat struggle through waves when the film was not that focused on characters as the grim colour pallette of the film is realistic to the point that many viewers may find it dull, but I cannot deny the realistic nature of the film to be excellent. The detail in the film is amazing because the scenery gives it all a great backdrop and the solid production design makes it easily convincing as the Andrea Gail sails across the sea. The ship itself is detailed exceptionally on both the interior and the exterior, and it combines with the scenery to make the venture a great one where everything is captured with excellently atmospheric cinematography. And the visual effects are just spectacular. They are excellently realistic and edited into the film very well so that it never ends up overreliant on visual effects.
The technical elements of The Perfect Storm anchor it perfectly which make it the grand disaster spectacle that it needs to be. The sound effects are also powerful which also benefit from timely editing, and as I said before the musical score is excellent, so The Perfect Storm is excellent from a technical perspective both on the eyes and the ears.
And the cast in The Perfect Storm do their effort as well. While the film does not precisely focus too deeply on characters, the actors all do their part to ensure that the human effect of the film is felt.
The best element of the acting comes from the actors portraying the crew members on Andrea Gail as they all share a strong level of camarederie as they fight together to ensure survivial of the crew. Mark Whalberg leads it all with a likable character and confident level of heroism as the driving force, and George Clooney pulls in second with a likable archetype. John C. Reilly does a great job as well because he always has a likable persona and he is able to establish sympathy for himself early on in the film, and John Hawkes does a similar job albeit to a lesser yet still effective extent. William Fichtner and Allen Payne do their part as well. All of them interact really well with firm dramatic chemistry in The Perfect Storm
Diane Lane is a bit melodramatic at times but overall is ok, and Karen Allen is a welcome premise.
So while The Perfect Storm is much more of a visual spectacle than anything and may be somewhat repetitive and slow, Wolfgang Peterson's direction on The Perfect Storm make it an entertaining and emotionally affecting disaster film with unforgettable imagery and pure dramatic power.