The Finest Hours (2016)
It's a fine story The Finest Hours tries to tell, about a real-life rescue mission of a broken-in-half oil tanker off the coast of New England back in 1952. The film starts off with the background romance between lead character Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and his would-be-wife Miriam (Holliday Grainger), and it's a nice prelude in which the tone of the time is set effectively and we're escorted back into the lives of mid-century Cape Cod coast guards. The start of the impending disaster on the tanker SS Pendelton is also quite well handled (even if the film takes too long getting there), and it's always promising to see Casey Affleck in the midst of an ensuing conflict. However, the problems start setting in with the introduction of the rescue mission itself, the film's focal point. The action-sequences are overblown and badly handled by director Craig Gillespie, who isn't able to convincingly portray the bravery of these people without throwing all realism overboard (literally). You've got people and boats doing and enduring things that are totally out of proportion, hence negating the veracity of the rescue mission itself. And if that wasn't enough, the film throws in far too many characters, many of which are never established, and far less developed, into people we know or can care for. Ben Foster's incredibly thankless role is the prime example. Luckily for Foster and Pine, they would reunite to film the brilliant Hell or High Water a few months later.