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The Perfect Storm  

Billy Tyne (George Clooney)
Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg)
Murph (John C. Reilly)
Chris (Diane Lane)
Linda (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio)
Sully (William Fichtner)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen Written by Bill Wittliff, based on the book by Sebastian Junger
Rated PG-13 for language and scenes of peril Running Time: 129 minutes Distributed by Warner Brothers
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The Perfect Storm is a different and very creative film from director Wolfgang Petersen. The film is based on true events that happened in 1991. The story mostly centers on a fishing boat, The Andrea Gail, from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Billy Tyne (Clooney) is the boat's hard-nosed skipper and his five man crew includes; Bobby (Wahlberg), Murph (Reilly), Bugsy (Hawkes), Sully (Fitchner) and Alfred (Payne). In the first half of the film we are introduced to this six men and their loved ones, along with the pressure of meeting finances. Convinced to start a hot streak, (more fish, more money), Billy chooses to lead his crew out into the middle of the Atlantic, "Because that is where the fish are", the Andrea Gail captain replies. After many superstitious situations out at sea, the crew of the Andrea Gail now start their way back home with 500,000 dollars worth of fish. Except there is one major problem, three storms have collided in the Western Atlantic to create what meteorologists call "The Perfect Storm". Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour; the storm whips the sea to inconceivable levels. Now, the crew of the Andrea Gail has to trust their courage, instincts and one another to try and get back to Massachusetts through a dominant force of Mother Nature.

The Perfect Storm is a film that everybody should see. It has some of the best special effects ever used in a movie, it is a for sure spectacle triumph.

Well-rounded is a word that describes Wolfgang Petersen's direction in this film. His previous directorial credits include, Das Boot, Outbreak, In the Line of Fire and Air Force One. Along with a lot of help from the special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, Petersen creates a ferocious and whopping storm that is a true amazement to watch. I learned that Petersen shot all the storm scenes with green screen surrounding all the boats and actors. I have always complained about how too many movies wasting time and money on special effects. However, this film had to have the expensive effects, because the same visual impact could not have been made with wave pools and fans. Petersen steams into the spotlight with his unique creation, The Perfect Storm.

The script is written by Bill Wittliff and is based off the novel by Sebastian Junger of the same name. Junger is a journalist, who based his book off of true events, research and interviews with the communities who experienced the storm of 1991. The first half of the script focuses on the main characters and their families in the story, then the storm overcasts the second half. Some of the elements with the crew are predictable. An example is that I knew that Murph and Sully would keep getting into disagreements ever since their first argument. However, the conflict between Sully and Murph shape their characters, more so Sully's than Murph's. There isn't much else I can say about the script, except that it is different than most Hollywood screenplays. It is sort of like watching a biographical rollercoaster in blockbuster form.

The whole acting cast in The Perfect Storm is very strong. George Clooney has never been better than his performance as the skipper of the Andrea Gail, Billy Tyne. Mark Wahlberg continues to sparkle as the "rookie" of the boat, Bobby. Diane Lane, who plays Bobby's girlfriend, Chris, delivers a very emotional and passionate performance. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantino serves up one the best performances of her career as the counter-part skipper to Billy, Linda. The rest of the actors that portray the crew of the Andrea Gail are also very good, including the character driven actors, John C. Reilly and William Fichtner, who play Murph and Sully.

The Perfect Storm is a film that pulls you in close with the characters and then blows you away with their experiences through an unbelievable weather creation. You will be routing for the Andrea Gail the whole movie. The Perfect Storm swept the box office over the July 4th weekend. It has already raked in over 65 million dollars, and it might be on its way to surpass Mission:Impossible 2 to be the biggest hit of the summer.

Report Card Grade: B+

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