Main cast: George Clooney (Billy Tyne), Mark Wahlberg (Bobby Shatford), Diane Lane (Christina Cotter), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Linda Greenlaw), John C Reilly (Dale Murphy), William Fichtner (David Sullivan), John Hawkes (Mike “Bugsy” Moran), and Allen Payne (Alfred Pierre)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
The Perfect Storm, based on a true story, is an amazing spectacle of man-vs-nature, and it is a humbling experience to realize that even in our age of modern nuclear machinery, we are mere insignificant rungs in nature’s ecosystem. The twenty-foot wave surging forward Andrea Gail will sure drive home that point during the last hour of this movie.
Yes, this movie is indeed a spectacle of studio magic – I actually felt somewhat seasick watching the stormy seas. It’s all so real, the waves, the fear, the motions (too bad Mark Wahlberg didn’t pose in a wet shirt)… it’s only towards the end that I realize not only I don’t care about any of the characters in this movie, I also think their deaths could have been prevented if they aren’t so in love with their fight against the sea. Maybe a part of them want to rest in the oceans.
Either way, the main star is the storm. The characters are disappointingly stock material. There’s the reckless captain Billy who won’t merge with Linda’s fishing troop even at the risk of foreclosure. No, he decides to take his ship Andrea Gail to somewhere off Portugal, the Flemish Cap, “where the fish are”. Among the crew are Bobby who keeps swearing to his girlfriend that every fishing expedition would be the last, Murph who loves his son, Sully who hates Murph, Bugsy who is horny, and there’s also a token black guy whose name I couldn’t catch.
They head right into where two hurricanes merge, thanks to a broken antenna (then again, I doubt anyone could understand Linda’s really awful diction even if the antenna isn’t broken). Hey ho, so what now?
Calling The Perfect Storm a Moby Dick-ish movie is apt. It is an awe-inspiring spectacle, the storm and waves surging high – the perfect storm indeed. It is also a terrifying remainder that in today’s time, who needs actors and dramas? Just pop in the effects and let everything rip.