Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea

The book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is a book about a true story about a very large white whale that destroyed a whaling ship in 1821 and is the story that lead to the novel Moby Dick, which was a fictional accounting of this incident that was released in 1850 and written by Herman Melville.  Many people who are going to see this new Ron Howard movie are probably going to think that this is a movie about the novel Moby Dick and they will be disappointed because this story is completely different the original Moby Dick novel and 1956 movie starring Gregory Peck.

At times I found parts of this movie rather boring, especially when the remaining crew was stranded at sea for over 90 days and I thought that there was no need to drag on this part of the story for about 2 thirds of the entire movie to watch the crew slowly dying of starvation and exposure.  The special effects were good but did not do a great job showing the whale destroying the boat and some of the smaller boats and killing many of the men in the crew. I actually thought that the original movie Moby Dick with Gregory Peck was a much better movie and had better special effects even though this movie was made in 1956 and fictional Moby Dick story is more interesting than this depressing true story.

Additional thoughts concerning this movie include several of the actors, especially the lead actor Chris Hemsworth, who lost over 30 pounds, living on 500 calories a day to make their survival at sea more believable. Clearly the fact that this is only a movie never occurred to these actors who risked their long term health for a long period of time just to make a movie. I have never understood why actors in Hollywood take risks like this just to make a movie.

In conclusion I expected a great movie here and only got a marginally good one. If you are fan of movies at sea this the movie for you, otherwise this one can be missed.

In the heart of the sea


Ron Howard Credits IMDB