Ron Howard is a living legend of Hollywood, plain and simple. And for reasons unknown to me, the accomplished actor, director and producer never seems to end up in the same discussion as cinema's greatest filmmakers.You can't argue against his impressive credentials which include A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 and his most recent and, perhaps, most overlooked film, 2013's thrilling Formula One racing biopic, Rush. However, with Howard's latest endeavor, In the Heart of the Sea, we certainly aren't handed his most prolific feature.
Author Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) sets out to interview an older Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), a crew member on the whaling ship Essex that was rumored to have encountered an enormous beast. And after a reluctant start to his recollection of the harrowing true story surrounding the sinking of the Essex, Nickerson finally buckles down and relives the events of his childhood. He tells of the power struggle on-board between the ship's captain, George Pollard (Benjamin Walker), and his first mate, Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth). prior to their encounter with the most massive whale any of the crew had ever seen.
Unfortunately, In the Heart of the Sea fails to break ground as either a survival film or a dramatic biopic. Instead, the film serves as a visual spectacle and very little else. Filled with hokey dramatics that never capture the core emotions of the audience, Ron Howard's newest film falls flat of its revived Oscar hopes. In the Heart of the Seasurprisingly pushed it release date back from March of 2015 until this December, and many were expecting an awards season contender. However, outside of its marvelous CGI and a memorable small supporting turn from Cillian Murphy, this origin tale for Herman Melville's classic American novel, Moby Dick, is nowhere near tbe whale-sized masterpiece that many desired.