Cockburn Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

IN the Heart of the Sea has all the mak­ings of a rous­ing high stakes David and Go­liath, man ver­sus beast sur­vival story.

A man leav­ing his preg­nant wife be­hind, con­flicts on board a whal­ing ship and a se­ri­ously ticked-off whale that does not like his ter­ri­tory in­vaded – sounds like a stim­u­lat­ing ac­tion/drama.

Un­for­tu­nately, di­rec­tor Ron Howard strug­gles to bring much emo­tional weight to a script that is more pre­oc­cu­pied with bor­ing testos­terone­fu­elled drama be­tween cliched char­ac­ters than gen­uine tension.

Based on the events that in­spired lit­er­ary clas­sic Moby Dick by Her­man Melville, In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of farmer Owen Chase (Hemsworth) who is placed on a ship un­der Cap­tain Ge­orge Pol­lard (Ben­jamin Walker), who he does not see eye to eye with.

An en­counter with an over­sized whale far out­weighs the per­son­al­ity clashes on board the ship, as the men are at­tacked and stalked by the sea crea­ture.

As he has proven in the Marvel films as Thor, Hemsworth has a com­mand­ing screen pres­ence but he strug­gles to pin down the ac­cent in this pe­riod fea­ture.

He also fails to shed his su- per­hero per­sona, as Chase is never al­lowed to be vul­ner­a­ble. Much tension and sus­pense is drained know­ing this main char­ac­ter is in­vin­ci­ble de­spite the el­e­ments, emerg­ing from nu­mer­ous in­ci­dents with­out a scratch.

The story heads into some darker ter­ri­tory in the later stages, but is lim­ited in its at­tempt to keep this as fam­i­lyfriendly as pos­si­ble.

In the Heart of the Sea has a lot of manly men be­ing manly on a big manly boat, but is not as emo­tion­ally en­gag­ing as one would like.

Chris Hemsworth stars in IntheHeart­oftheSea.

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