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Perfect Storm

A movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen

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A Story Of A Glorified Idiot

  • Dec 19, 2000
Pros: Mark Wahlberg

Cons: mediocre script that doesn't tell the whole truth; trite stunts; all-around disappointing

Let me preface this story by telling you that my stepfather is on the crew of the Air National Guard (106th Airborne) in West Hampton, NY. This movie is based on the true story of what happened during a major storm in 1991. (The boat was actually trapped in three storm systems that collided.) Jim (my stepdad) was friends with Rick Smith, the PJ that was lost at sea, as well as all of the other guys on the crew. The only reason that Jim didn't fly the C-130 that night was because he had off, and was actually bowling during the entire ordeal. However, he lived the story for the next few weeks, including when they were looking for the fisherman and his boat, as well as Rick.

The story is as follows. Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney) is a fishing captain from Gloucester, MA, that has been in a bit of a slump lately. His crew is upset because they are making les money than any other fishermen in Gloucester. Billy decides to go back out one last time to fish, and doesn't give his crew any turnaround time. They board the Andrea Gail and set out for the North Atlantic. Only, Billy doesn't stick to the regular places they've fished. He goes into new waters, leaving the shore far behind. His crew, including Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg), are rather hesitant. But, Bobby convinces them to go, persuading them with the potential fortune that lay before them. They catch tons of fish, but soon get caught in an intense storm system: Three hurricanes colliding with one another. They try their best to get out, but even the Air National Guard and the Coast Guard can't save them.


Yes, this is a tragic story. Yes, it's based (LOOSELY) on a true story. The reason I use the word "loosely" is because no one knows what really happened on the fishing boat. If you read the newspaper or saw the movie, you know that the entire fishing crew dies. Where in the world did they get this story? From the people in Gloucester? I should say not. It was obvious that everyone was ticked at Billy for going out to sea, especially Bobby's girlfriend Chris (Diane Lane). The movie is based loosely on an event that occurred 9 years ago, told from the perspective of someone that can't even tell you the real story.

Personally, I think the story should have been told from the perspective of the Air National Guard. After all, only one of those guys didn't make it. They could have at least included more of a story line concerning the boys in the ANG. They didn't even give them a mention during the credits. How insulting.

Yes, Wolfgang Petersen is great when it comes to stunts and special effects. I had the good fortune to work with Wolfgang on U.S. Marshals, which he produced, and see him in action up close. He also directed blockbuster action movies such as Air Force One and In The Line Of Fire. However, some of the stunts seen in The Perfect Storm appear trite at best. When Wahlberg and Clooney are steering the ship together, it seems as though it was shot on the Disney backlot. And, you can totally tell what is computer generated and what isn't. It was a real let-down for me, as I heard nothing but rave reviews of this film.

The acting was okay on a whole. The forced Massachusetts accent got real old real quick. The only one that seemed natural was Mark Wahlberg, and that's because he was raised in Worcester. Plus, his voice over at the end was really touching. He was the most believable character, in my opinion. George Clooney didn't do it for me in this one-- he was just eye candy.

My opinion of this film? Skip it. There are so many more action films out there that are better than this one. (ie- U-571 and The Hunt For Red October.) Maybe it's because I am biased towards the ANG.


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Candice Cain ()
Ranked #405
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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About this movie


Based on the engrossing nonfiction work by Sebastian Junger about the Andrea Gail--a commercial swordfishing boat that was lost at sea in October 1991--Wolfgang Petersen's THE PERFECT STORM brings the pages to life. The movie features a big-name cast (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg) playing the gruff, edgy fishermen in the Gloucester, Massachusetts, port, as well as close-up camera shots of the boats moored on the wintry docks. Viewers are drawn into the closely knit New England community that is struck speechless by a fierce nor'easter made from three merging hurricanes. Meteorologists call it the Perfect Storm. <br> <br> Despite the weather forecast, skipper Billy Tyne (Clooney) insists that his crew go out on one more 30-day swordfishing trip before the winter sets in. At sea, a series of tragedies ensues, including a man dragged overboard by one of the 300-foot-long lines and a bloodthirsty shark that gets reeled onto the deck accidentally. What's worse, the skipper's right-hand man, Bobby Shatford (...
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Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Release Date: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (May 15, 2007)
Runtime: 2hr 10min
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