The Perfect Storm (2000)

Come sail away kiddies on a three hour tour into the belly of two hurricanes colliding with ladies man George Clooney as yer skipper. Mark Wahlberg plays a… well I don’t know, but I know he has Diane Lane waiting for him at home and I do know she needs to be in more movies. Plus an assorted group of people all needing money and risking their lives for the catch of their lives in director Wolfgang Petterson’s newest saga. But basically, and I’ll keep the water puns to a minimum, the film is all wet.

The Perfect Storm manages to soak you with waves of cliches. It wants you to care for these characters, hell it spends half the movie setting up their lives, but never cements them as people but only selfish caricatures. The exposition of the fishing community is a tiresome run of every small town cliche where everybody knows everybody, to the larger woman everyone associates as “mom,” to the old grizzled sea dog permanently fixed to his bar stool. Basically, be glad when the boys go off to sea and leave this place.

How come everyone in the film has a New Englanda’ accent except for Clooney? It’s that type of movie. The acting can’t save this picture especially when the only performance of notice is the reliable John C. Reilly. His is the only character who doesn’t come off as a selfish braggart or just an idiot.

What should be the film’s high-point with the mono-a-mono wrestle with Mother Nature eventually collapses on itself. How many times can you see Clooney get splashed in the face before familiarity and boredom set in? Trust me, it’s not many. The Perfect Storm‘s effects are dutifully impressive as water is a very tricky mistress, but couldn’t there have been a story behind it?

Just when you’re not trying to tune out the guitar jackhammer score or not to dwell on Clooney’s cringe-worthy “swordfish captain” speech you see flashes of what The Perfect Storm had going but never surfaced. Instead we get water-logged plots, water-logged stars, and plenty of syrupy sentiment. It’ll be this year’s Armageddon for the under 16 girls.

Nate’s Grade: C

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on July 2, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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