Pretty disappointing, compared to what I thought it could be. The first two acts had their fair share of thrills, most notably when the Essex sailed into the squall and that first whaling scene. But by the time the third act rolls around, everything gets brushed over so quickly that there is no sense of struggle - other than some chapped lips and murmurs of atrocities. A let down that had so much potential.
Swear a film that showed Melville physically writing Moby Dick for two hours, muttering under his breath and sweating over a typewriter, would've been more interesting. Typical old-fashioned adventure film with cold characters that utter dialog that sounds carefully crafted rather than spontaneous, and a film that lacks and semblance of survivalism or the deterioration of the human mind/body in a time of peril.
Two different films rolled into 1 ticket admission. The first part of the film was an awful monster movie, complete with a bad and one dimetional characterizations and bad CGI. Howard's worst. The second part is a gripping and horrifying survival movie, complete with a harrowing tale of men's descent into darkness. One of Howard's best.
The very first film I chose randomly to watch at cinema without knowing its existence nor the other infos regarding this movie beforehand. At the very first shoot I was like "HOLY EFFIN CRAP, THIS IS A WHALE MOVIE!?! I ONLY CAME FOR CHRIS!! (it's dumb, I know) The truth is I suffer from megalophobia and it includes whales. So, I closed my eyes whenever Moby and his fellows appeared. Anyway, a decent movie.
Sometimes Ron Howard hits the nail in the head, sometimes he doesn't. He didn't with this sea adventure but still provided--as he always does--moments of pure cinematic bliss. Plus, there's no way around it, Chris Hemsworth is a force to be reckoned with.