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Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
The mate was a stud with a babe back home,
The weather started getting rough,
The ship was smacked by enormous waves and tried to hold its form
The wettest movie of the summer has arrived, and it is The Perfect Storm. What is the perfect storm? It's when three storms collide. Why that's perfect, I'm not sure. I mean would it be even more perfect if four storms collided? Or is that the sequel?
"George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg star in The Storm That Was More Perfect Than The Last Storm!"
OK, all kidding aside, the movie is based on a true story, which means if I make fun about the characters, I'm a total jerk with no class.
In 1991, six sailors set off in their fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, and got smacked by the largest storm in recorded history. Nine years later a film was made with waves doing things to boats the likes of which you haven't seen since you bombed your Fisher-Price fleet in the bathtub.
This is based on a true story, which makes me think I should be able to talk about the ending. I mean if you read a review of Gandhi and get upset to learn that he gets assassinated at the end, you're just an idiot. But George Clooney isn't Gandhi, Marky Mark isn't the British Viceroy, and The Andrea Gail isn't India so you may not be aware of how it all turns out. Here's a hint - big waves.
The problem with The Perfect Storm is that it doesn't trust itself. It has big stars in a big boat battling big waves, but it wastes time with other storylines, like crazy Karen Allen in a tiny sailboat or a bunch of Coast Guard types in a helicopter. Who cares! Yeah, yeah, yeah, there were other people in the storm as well. Big deal! If they weren't on the Andrea Gail, don't bother me!
Clooney does a fine job as the stoic captain who's too good looking for his own good. Marky Mark does a fine job as the young whipping boy who's too good looking for his own good. John C. Reilly does a great job as the sailor who's not quite as good looking as George and Mark. But when push comes to shove, the star of the film is Mother Nature. She kicks some serious ass.
"Oh look! A little girly-boat in my water! I like my little boats shaken AND stirred! Like that wave? Want another? Boo-ya!"
How they managed to keep the cameras steady while they went out to sea in a storm and filmed these incredible waves, I have no idea. It's amazing what they can do with a steadi-cam.
So is the movie any good? It's OK. As usual with true stories, I hate to say that someone's life wasn't quite as exciting as a flock of animated chickens, but it's true. And speaking of the true story thing, I have a question. In the beginning of the film, one of the sailors meets a woman in a bar. He's drunk and he wants to have sex. She politely turns him down. The next morning, as he leaves for the trip, she comes to the dock to wish him well. She's known him for all of 12 hours. So when everyone is crowded around the TV set waiting for news on the sailors, there she is, crying as much as the mothers, sisters and wives in attendance. At what point would one of these women say "I'm sorry, who are you, again? We're terrified that we may have lost our families and you're crying over a drunk who tried to pick you up in a bar last night?"
Just a thought.
I'm giving The Perfect Storm 3 1/3 Babylons. A nice little story about the futility of going up against the Fury of Mother Nature. No disrespect intended, but this entire movie could have been avoided if the Captain says "You know, there are three Hurricanes between us and the mainland. Who wants to sail to England instead?"
I have to say, I was all ready to slam the SMC as I do every week until I read that Gilligan's Island bit. I think I'll forgive him for being alive until next week.
the Perfect Storm