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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The ship used to portray the "Hannah Bowden" is based out of Barnegat, New Jersey, on Long Beach Island, and is still in service to this day. See more »
When the Andrea Gail enters the eye of the storm, the waters become calm. In reality the air would be calm and the skies clearer, but the seas would be just as bad as ever, on account of churning from the surrounding hurricane's eye-wall winds. See more »
Todd Gross, TV Meteorologist:
[showing Pam the satellite images from his computer screen]
Look, look at this. We got Hurricane Grace moving north off the Atlantic seaboard. Huge... getting massive. Two, this low south of Sable Island, ready to explode. Look at this. Three, a fresh cold front swooping down from Canada. But it's caught a ride on the jet stream... and is motoring hell-bent towards the Atlantic. What if Hurricane Grace runs smack into it? Add to the scenario this baby off Sable Island, scrounging for energy. ...
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It is inescapable fact that it is very difficult to take real-life events and translate them into an interesting and thrilling movie. Ron Howard perfected the art with "Apollo 13" and now Wolfgang Petersen continues on with "The Perfect Storm".
This story of Gloucester, MA. fishermen who go out for one last try at a big payoff in a slumping season packs quite a wollup once they get caught up in an event that had never before been recorded: the perfect storm. From there, you have to suspend belief just a bit and drink in the events occurring aboard the Andrea Gail. It's not tough, as the cast delivers them perfectly.
George Clooney may have played his signature role as Capt. Billy Tyne, skipper of the ill-fated Andrea Gail on that fateful day in 1991. Clooney comes off as neither overly glamorous, or bigger than life, but as a simple common man just trying to break his fishing slump and bring home a big payday for his boss, his crew, and himself. When George relaxes and puts himself into a role, he is better off, and Capt. Tyne is the pinnacle of that for him.
Mark Wahlberg comes on board as Bobby Shatford, a rookie fisherman who is trying to make a better life for himself and his girlfriend Chris (nicely played by Diane Lane). Bobby is the only character given equal depth to Billy and comes off with the same impression: a good guy who was trying hard to make a better life. Very nicely done here as well.
Supporting cast is good, John C. Reilly as Dale "Murph" Murphy, William Fichtner as David "Sully" Sullivan, a late arrival to the Andrea Gail's crew, Michael Ironside as the profit first Bob Brown. All of these stellar characterizations and serve brilliantly to put you into Gloucester of 1991.
Wolfgang Petersen has created a gripping film, full of chillingly realistic special effects. He skillfully took Sebastian Junger's novel and tweaked it to fit the confines of the motion picture screen. Casting and acting by all involved was perfect and you never once feel like anything is overacted or overly dramatic, just that you are somehow involved with the fear that had to have been involved on that night.
4 1/2 out of 5
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