Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
In October 1991, a confluence of weather conditions combined to form a killer storm in the North Atlantic. Caught in the storm was the sword-fishing boat Andrea Gail. Magnificent foreshadowing and anticipation fill this true-life drama while minute details of the fishing boats, their gear and the weather are juxtaposed with the sea adventure. Written by
Erwin van Moll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the Fall of 1991, the "Andrea Gail" left Gloucester, Mass. and headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history. See more »
Based on a true story, and dedicated to ten thousand Gloucestermen lost at sea since 1623, `The Perfect Storm' is a powerful movie that will take you places to which you've never been before. Director Wolfgang Peterson has deftly crafted an intense rendering of the story of the Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat captained by Billy Tyne that left Gloucester, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1991, and soon encountered the storm of the century. After a less than profitable trip out, Captain Tyne (George Clooney) sets out again in October, with a crew of five men, and heads for deep water and a place know as the `Flemish Cap.' It's a dangerous trek for that time of year, but he assures his men that the catch will be worth the risk. What he could not foresee, however (nor could any meteorologist), was that three major storms would converge to form a single storm, the likes of which comes along only once in every one hundred years or so. Fate steps in further when, after their catch is made, their ice making machine burns out, leaving them without the means of packing and preserving the fish. They have no choice but to go back in, directly through the storm, lest the fish spoil, in which case all of their work, and the risks taken, would be for naught. Tyne lets the crew decide; do they turn away and wait out the storm, losing everything, or do they prove that they're `Gloucestermen,' and try to make it back. What Peterson did with this film, the way he tells the story, can be likened to what Melville did with the novel, `Moby Dick;' as it moves along, he fleshes out the characters and subtly provides an intimate portrait of what this kind of life is all about. He pays such meticulous attention to details, that by the time you're in the middle of the storm, the impact is extraordinary; you know what this boat is and how it works, you've smelled the fish and the sweat and the sea, and worked alongside the crew. You know these people and what's at stake here. You know the feel of the fishing lines and the grappling hooks, felt that rush of adrenaline that comes when you hook a big one, or when a huge wave washes over the deck. He gives you so much in this film, puts you in it so completely, that it primes your senses for whatever's to come. Combine all of this with the best special effects imaginable, outstanding performances, and a terrific score by John Horner, and you're in for the thrill of a lifetime. The charismatic Clooney is exemplary here as Tyne; he knows him from the inside out, which enables him to convey a real sense of who this man is. And it shows in the way he carries himself, the way he walks and talks, right down to the look in his eye. He's tough without any unwarranted theatrics or bravura, is self-assured, but aware of his own shortcomings, as well. It's a commanding performance with nuance and depth; It's all there, and Clooney makes it real. Mark Wahlberg, also, is outstanding as Bobby Shatford, the rookie fisherman who can't stand to be more than two feet away from the woman he loves, Christina (Diane Lane). Lane gives a notable performance here, too, as does John C. Reilly, who does an emotional turn as `Murph,' the veteran fisherman with a young son he loves, and who lives with the remorse of past mistakes that cost him his wife. Rounding out the exceptional supporting cast are William Fichtner (Sully), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Linda), Allen Payne (Alfred), John Hawkes (Bugsy) and Michael Ironside (Bobby Brown). There are thrills and heroics to spare in `The Perfect Storm,' but it's also inspiring; once you've seen the Coast Guard in action, for example, you'll never take them for granted again. What makes this such a great movie, though, is that it's about real people, doing their jobs and going about living their lives like we all do. It's an instance of ordinary people getting caught up in extraordinary circumstances, and Peterson has made them accessible, ones with whom anyone in the audience will be able to identify. This is an emotionally charged, unforgettable film; you'll experience things from the comfort of your seat in the theater (or on the couch) that most people will never get close to in real life. And therein lies the true magic of the cinema. This is one movie you absolutely do not want to miss. 10/10.
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