"Power vs. Persistence"
What You Need To Know:
The special effects in THE PERFECT STORM are tremendous. Hollywood pretty boys Clooney and Wahlberg are mostly genuine when portraying the lives of fishermen as gruff, not glamorous. Pagan elements of strong foul language, smoking, a lot of alcohol use, and brief drunkenness mar the movie, however. There is also some action violence. Even so, the movie’s worldview is mostly a moral one. Enemies are brought together, crewmembers risk their lives for one another, and prayer is mentioned
(BB, Pa, Ab, LLL, VV, N, AA, D, M) Mostly moral worldview of people pulling together despite their differences, with some pagan elements, plus song heard in background is blasphemous; 17 obscenities & 13 profanities; woman has a brief, frightening dream of ocean storm, man gets into scuffle with another man, depictions of men gutting fish, fish being filled with ice, shark accidently ends up on deck of ship with scary depictions of shark biting man’s leg, man shooting shark, man is accidently hooked through hand & whisked out to sea, many scenes of people being thrown about on boats, helicopter crashes into water, scenes of implied drowning, & extremely violent storm; some kissing & a joking allusion to sex; upper male nudity; alcohol use & drunkenness; smoking; and, a seemingly heartless, greedy character.
Director Wolfgang Petersen (of DAS BOOT and AIR FORCE ONE) helms THE PERFECT STORM, a movie loosely based on the real life story of six men aboard a fishing vessel caught in the middle of two colliding storms.
George Clooney stars as Captain Billy Tyne, leader of the crew aboard a fishing vessel named the Andrea Gail. The group has returned to their port shores of Gloucester, Mass. with an inadequate amount of fish. The boat’s owner tells Billy that, if he can’t bring in enough fish, he’ll hire someone else to captain his boat. Upset by the comment, Billy informs his crew later that night in a bar that they are going out again.
Among the crew is Bobby Shatford, played by Mark Wahlberg. Bobby’s girlfriend, Christina (Diane Lane), gets upset when faced with Bobby being gone again. They talk it over, and, though she wants him to stay, he is determined to go. Christina understands that he wants to provide for her. Torn between being with their loved ones and the chance to earn needed money, all of the crew, except for one member, agrees to go. It is the end of the season, and the risk is great.
As the Andrea Gail heads out, Billy talks on the radio to Linda Greenlaw, a fellow captain whose returns have fared better than his. He encourages her, the respect between them is mutual, and the two share their love of the ocean along with hints of feelings for one another. The crew, meanwhile, readies the boat for departure. There is a sense of animosity brought on board almost immediately, however, between two of the men, “Sully,” a newcomer, and “Murph.”
As they head out to sea, Billy talks with Bobby, who seems to be his right hand man. Driven by the purpose and the excitement of the trip, they discuss life and the difficulty of wanting a family amidst the lure of the sea. Billy also tells Bobby that “he just caught him on a good day,” meaning that he is not always this talkative and friendly. His anger is later revealed after the first lines are set out, and the catch is dismal. Between that and the tension between Murph and Sully, the journey seems to be souring.
Billy decides to take the crew out farther, and they agree, hoping to go “where the fish are.” As they set out lines one evening, there is an accident that pulls Murph overboard. Ironically, the first person to jump into the water is Sully. After saving Murph’s life, the two build a camaraderie that triumphs over their previous animosity.
As they find great success further out, Billy informs them that there is a large storm in their path. The crew decides to go for it, knowing that the ride will be rough. Back in a Boston newsroom, a meteorologist is bewildered by what is happening to the two weather systems that he has been observing. It looks like they will collide. The news airs the report, and soon the small town of Gloucester realizes what is happening. Linda Greenlaw, trying to warn Billy of the news, is cut off when powerful winds take out his antenna. The crew fights a desperate battle against wind and sea, trying desperately to survive.
While THE PERFECT STORM is a far cry from the actual events of the fateful voyage of the Andrea Gail in 1991, the drama and suspense are done tastefully, with the characters coming off as heroic. In PREMIERE magazine’s June issue, Wahlberg talks about staying in his character’s old room and getting to know Bobby’s family very well. He also mentions how he told them he was not out to portray their son, only a character with a similar experience of the same event. Likewise, other cast and members became involved in the town as well, with many of the fishermen being hired by the director as aides.
Hollywood pretty boys Clooney and Wahlberg are mostly genuine when portraying the lives of fishermen as gruff, not glamorous. Regrettably, there are some times where it still seems like George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg are on screen instead of their characters, due, in part, to a lack of story development in the movie’s early parts. However, the acting is professional, and the supporting cast is strong.
The special effects in this movie are tremendous. Though the story is a tragic one, the depicted power of the storm is amazing. Facing this huge storm brings out the heroic qualities in the characters. Enemies are brought together, and crewmembers risk their lives for their comrades. Pagan elements of strong foul language, smoking, a lot of alcohol use, and brief drunkenness mar the movie, however. THE PERFECT STORM also contains brief action violence, due to the nature of the story, and a blasphemous song against Jesus Christ by the rock group Alice in Chains plays briefly in the background of a scene.
Finally, however, prayer is mentioned as a last resort. Although it is good that people turn to prayer in moments of trial and desperate need, prayer should be a top priority in every person’s life, not a last resort. It’s important, however, that your prayers focus on the right God, the God of the Bible. Even so, we can trust that God will listen to sincere prayers from any one who calls on Him.