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'In the Heart of the Sea' success or shipwreck?
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A scene from "In the Heart of the Sea." - photo by Sarah Bringhurst
LOST AT SEA In the Heart of the Sea is an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbricks best-selling novel about the real-life events that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. The movie portrays the true story of the whale ship Essex when it was attacked by a giant sperm whale in 1820, leaving the surviving crew shipwrecked and stranded at sea.

With Ron Howard at the helm as director and Chris Hemsworth starring as the ships first mate, In the Heart of the Sea appeared to be full of enormous possibilities. However, the movie seems to fall short of its potential. The first sign of trouble was the change in release date from March of this year to nine months later in December.

The second issue is the fact that the script simply fails to develop. The dialogue tries too hard to be poetic and ends up coming across as cheap and flat. In the Heart of the Sea lacks so many elements needed to tell a dynamic story. Sure, theres a really big and really angry whale, but the humans drown in the mess of sloppy writing.

If theres one thing that shines in this film, it is the cinematography. The CGI of the sea and storms is extremely impressive and there are more than a few shots that are completely breathtaking. While Chris Hemsworth carries the movie, the most impressive performance comes from Brendan Gleeson as he recounts the entire tale years after he survived the shipwreck.

So if you can look past the flaws in the storytelling, In the Heart of the Sea is still an enjoyable movie to see this weekend in theaters.

In the Heart of the Sea is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material.