This film provides plenty of adventure and Oscar® caliber entertainment led by director Peter Weir (Witness, Truman Show), who also contributed as a producer and screenwriter.
Based on the Patrick O’Brian novel, Russell Crowe stars as Captain “Lucky” Jack Aubrey who commands the H.M.S. Surprise. Beginning in April 1805, as France threatens Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, the Surprise must hunt for their enemy, The Acheron, a superior ship eventually known as “The Phantom.”
Jack’s crew includes the ship’s doctor Stephen Maturin, played by Paul Bettany (Crowe’s A Beautiful Mind co-star) – also Jack’s close, personal friend. Supporting characters include the recognizable Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings film series) as Barrett, but the most memorable experiences come from the 13-year-old, blonde haired Max Pirkis, who plays the young lord Blakeney and George Innes, who plays an experience crewmember who speaks of troubling predictions after he recovers from a traumatic injury.
Jack and his crew go to great lengths to defeat this enemy and discover the difference between duty and honor. Most of the film occurs at sea, except for some land scenes at the Galapagos Islands (the first full length feature to actually film there).
This film achieves a special quality mainly due to an excellent plot and a large production budget so expensive it’s shared among three studios. This 2 hour and 20 minute adventure comes highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and is rated PG-13 for intense battle-related violence/injuries and language.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler