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Fifteen young sailors... six months of intense training... one chance at the brass ring. This documentary tells the story of a group of intrepid and determined young men and women, on the cusp of adulthood, as they embark on life's first great adventure. Racing a high-performance 52-foot sloop in the TRANSPAC, the most revered of open-ocean sailing competitions, the crew of "Morning Light" matches wits and skills in a dramatic 2300 mile showdown against top professionals. From their earliest training sessions in Hawaii conducted by world-class teachers through their test of endurance on the high seas, they form an unbreakable bond in the process of becoming a singular team that is greater than the sum of its parts. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
What happens if you put fifteen young, good looking adults in the same place, and make them compete to join a team that will participate in one of the most elite races in sailing? As it turns out, nothing but sailing in the documentary Morning Light.
Roy Disney wanted to get young sailors in the TransPac race so he bought the Morning Light, and set off to get the best to man it. Fifteen mostly obscenely rich, mostly white, all good looking, young sailors, Chris Branning, Grahm Brant-Zawadzki, Chris Clark, Charlie Enright, Jesse Fielding, Robbie Kane, Steve Manson Chris Schubert, Kate Theisen, Mark Towill, Genny Tulloch, Pieter van Os, Chris Welsh, Kit Will and Jeremy Wilmont are chosen to vie for eleven spots on the Morning Light. They go sailing, talk about sailing and look at sail boats.
A reasonable person would venture a guess that a bunch of young virile men in a competitive situation trapped in a small space with a couple of women might bring some sexual tension. It would be expected that directly competing to participate in one of the most elite races in sailing, the TransPac, would cause outbursts or the occasional jockeying for attention or recognition. The powerful part of competitive reality TV er movies is the strong emotional connection between the people on the screen.
Watching Morning Light is like trying to swim on a slip and slide. While it is wet and you can move across it swiftly on your stomach, you can't drown in the story because the water is only there to lube you up. Nothing that would make the audience submerge into the depths of the people or circumstances even grace the screen.
Morning Light has the emotional depth of a sociopath. We might as well be watching, "How to sail: A Step by Step Guide for the Rich and Moronic," because it offers equal levels of emotional expressiveness. They did not make me wonder or care about who would be selected to make the team, if they won the race or how they got along. Instead of asking myself questions of wonder during the movie, I often asked myself, "Who cares?" On the plus side, I do know far more about sailing than I ever did before, maybe enough to encourage me to buy a sail boat if I could afford one. Until then, I hope Disney leaves Morning Light out at sea.
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