The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, is under the command of Captain Jack Aubrey. Aubrey and the Surprise's current orders are to track and capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron. The Acheron is currently in the Atlantic off South America headed toward the Pacific in order to extend Napoleon's reach of the wars. This task will be a difficult one as Aubrey quickly learns in an initial battle with the Acheron that it is a bigger and faster ship than the Surprise, which puts the Surprise at a disadvantage. Aubrey's single-mindedness in this seemingly impossible pursuit puts him at odds with the Surprise's doctor and naturalist, Stephen Maturin, who is also Aubrey's most trusted advisor on board and closest friend. Facing other internal obstacles which have resulted in what they consider a string of bad luck, Aubrey ultimately uses Maturin's scientific exploits to figure out a way to achieve his and the ship's seemingly impossible goal. Written by
I have to start by saying that I have read one or two Patrick O'Brien novels. Mostly on planes, and they were great! This film blows away any expectation that I had for an interpretation of his novels. The amazing attention to detail and the tremendous acting were on par with, if not in great excess of Donaldson's "The Bounty", where Mel Gibson and Tony Hopkins gave mind altering performances. In this film, however, we are not lost in the great period work (which was off the charts amazing), we are also drawn into the characters. Developed with real life flaws and strengths, even our couragous leader, Jack Aubrey, drinks a bit too much, is tough on his crew and (maybe) makes a few desicions that may have not been the best possible at the time. What we have is a real life and incredibly insightful look into a very exciting and important time in the history of the world.
Written as a battle between the British "Surprise" a relatively modest ship and the American "Aceron", changed for American audiences to a French ship. I am sure that after 911 most Americans would rather watch Aubrey crush the life out of a large and powerful French frigate than an American one. In any event, the battle scenes are amazing, the attention to detail, flawless, and the acting....superb. I have never liked Russell Crowe, but every movie I have ever seen him in I find myself saying, "that guy is an amazing actor". In my humble opinion, this is his greatest achievement. The supporting actors, right down to the inexperienced young actors, playing the teen midshipman that truly were part of both the American and British navies for several hundred years.
Heroic...real...beautifully filmed....amazing in every respect.
A MUST SEE, not matter whether you're a 18th century navy buff, or just someone who appreciates a well crafted period film chock full of action, emotion and intelligence
Please see this film
120 of 140 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?