It may not be perfect, but this is the most exciting version of Moby Dick yet – only it isn’t.


  • What is it?

When Herman Melville wrote his famous novel about a vengeful white whale and the captain who couldn’t let go, Moby Dick, he based some of it on an actual event: the sinking of the whaling ship Essex by a sperm whale. In The Heart Of The Sea is that story.


  • I would like it if I like…

Certainly if you enjoy films about 19th century nautical misadventures, like Master & Commander, but prefer your entertainment to be less cerebral and more brawny. On the other hand, if you are just in the mood for some damn good sea-bound special effects where you can almost taste the salt, this is a fun trip.


  • Is it good?

Here’s the thing about Ron Howard’s films: he rarely cares too much about character development and will happily rely on quick caricatures who wear their intentions on their sleeves. There is nothing about these characters that we haven’t seen before and even the shock secret is not really that shocking. Yet shallow as they are, the story elements are well-paced and keep the party going. But the best parts of the movie are anything involving the ocean and in particular the vengeful whale.


  • Should I watch it?

If you are willing to endure the wishy-washy story and its cast of shallow characters, definitely. Who knows: you might even enjoy their contribution. But the bigger the screen the better, because this movie borders on the effects tail wagging the dog.

Last Updated: January 5, 2016


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