The story ultimately revolves around two "men of honor"; their relationship, their individual and joint failures and triumphs. Carl Brashear is determined to be the first African American Navy Diver in a time where racism is rife. Leslie Sunday is his embittered trainer, determined to see him fail. Fate, challenges and circumstances eventually draw these two men together in a tale of turbulence and ultimately triumph. Written by
The inspiring story of Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a black man who grew up in poverty in Kentucky and then joined the US Navy, aspiring to be the first black Master Diver in Navy history. We are shown the series of struggles from boyhood on that Brashear has to overcome to make his dream come true (and then to keep it alive.) Not the least of the challenges was Master Diver Bill Sunday (Robert DeNiro), the head trainer at the diving school the Navy sends Brashear to, who is not especially sympathetic to Brashear's goals, but who ultimately becomes an unlikely friend and supporter.
This is a good movie; fast paced and with a lot of action, although not an "action" pic in the normal sense of the word. There's a very human story here as well, and an interesting study of racism and the struggle to overcome it; there's also a sense of the struggle that took place in the 1960's between older and younger naval officers (the "old navy" vs the "new navy.") The performances are quite good - particularly Goodings'. I thought DeNiro was perhaps a bit over the top in his portrayal of Sunday (although, who knows, Sunday might well have been this extreme kind of loose cannon) and the portrayal of Sunday's wife Gwen (by Charlize Theron) also made me question whether these parts were "jazzed up" to provide entertainment value.
A good movie, though. I never once wondered if it was worth tuning into.
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