The harrowing true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, who were stranded in the Philippine Sea for five days after delivering the atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. As they awaited rescue, they endured extreme thirst, hunger, and relentless shark attacks.Written by
Thomas Jane's second starring role in a film involving sharks. The first was Deep Blue Sea (1999). See more »
At one point McWhorter (Tom Sizemore) tells his crew mates that the shark that would pose the greatest danger would be the great white. This shark rarely strays more than 100 miles from a coastline and, other than Hawaii and Tiananmen island. There would have been no great whites where the ship went down. See more »
Men of Courage is not meant to be anything more than a generic mid- budget war movie with sharks, but it underdelivers even if you keep your expectations low. The script follows historical events pretty closely, but writing has lots of flaws, and romantic storyline is disappointing. Nicolas Cage gives a sensible performance, but his character doesn't move anywhere from "good captain" cliché. The writers add lots of voice-over narration to add depth to characters, which makes things worse. The Japanese captain is reduced to ridicule near the ending, where the two captains burst into tears while saluting each other.
If you only look for special effects, war scenes and sharks wreaking havoc, this movie won't be any less disappointing. Warship effects are of acceptable quality (for television at least), but man-eating sharks are either roughly made CGI, or replaced with smaller sharks which are obviously harmless. Not a single scene shows sharks biting humans; edits carefully avoid that part. No attention is given to the actual details of shark species present on the site of USS Indianapolis demise. For a movie that closely follows actual events (and even includes documentary footage), Men of Courage has an unacceptable number of inaccuracies. It's also badly edited, with scenes interrupted and tied together in strange places. Two hours last like four.
The story of USS Indianapolis appears more fascinating when you read the sources and memoirs, and it certainly deserves a better adaptation than one made by this movie's screenwriters.
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