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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.3%
Worth A Look37.5%
Just Average: 19.89%
Pretty Crappy: 10.8%
Sucks: 8.52%

9 reviews, 122 user ratings

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Perfect Storm, The
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by EricDSnider

"A PERFECT storm? Eh, I've seen better."
4 stars

"The Perfect Storm," which is ultimately a not-very-good movie, is basically a combination of "Twister" and "Armageddon" -- two other not-very-good movies.

It has a more intellectual and sophisticated look about it than those other movies; in fact, its tone is more like "Titanic" than a traditional summer action blockbuster. Director Wolfgang Peterson takes his sweet time setting things up, allowing us a full 30 minutes of exposition before any boats ever leave the dock.

The characters are a disparate group of swordfishermen in Gloucester, Mass., who decide to head out to sea on one more fishing trip before possibly hanging it up and finding more lucrative work. Since this is based on a true story -- and, again, keeping with the anti-blockbuster mentality -- the characters are fairly realistic and not the one-note caricatures you'd find in, say, "Armageddon."

The captain is Billy Tyne (George Clooney, looking old and weather-beaten, as befitting the role), a man who loves the sea and lives for fishing. If anyone's going to find a new profession, it's not going to be him. He has an ill-defined flirtatious friendship with fellow captain Linda Greenlaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio); beyond that, he seems to be alone in the world.

His first mate Bobby (Mark Wahlberg) wants to settle down with his girlfriend (Diane Lane). Murph (John C. Reilly) is a big teddy bear of a man who misses his young son, whom he lost in a divorce. Bugsy (John Hawkes) is a scroungy fellow who wants a woman to have sex with him. Alfred Pierre (Allen Payne) is a Jamaican ladies' man. Sully (William Fichtner) is an odd guy who, for reasons unexplained, is at odds with Murph.

Which hints at how, despite its Grown-Up Movie musical score (by James Horner -- another "Titanic" connection) and un-sensationalized storytelling, "The Perfect Storm" is, at its heart, just another popcorn film. Sully and Murph are always bickering; it goes without saying, then, that Murph's life will be endangered and Sully will rescue him. Bobby's girlfriend has "bad feelings" about going his out on this trip. The scenes of a local weatherman (Chris McDonald) discovering the impending "Storm of the Century" are of the "May God save us all!" variety, straight out of "Independence Day" or any other disaster movie.

Our heroes, aboard the Andrea Gail, are out farther than the storm. They've caught enough fish to make them wealthy (well, in fisherman's terms, anyway) and have room for more, but then the ice-machine breaks. They have to hurry back to Gloucester before everything spoils -- which means going straight through the storm. They consider the option of staying put and waiting until the storm passes, but that would mean the loss of all their goods, and the dashing of all their dreams (most of which revolve around having money).

So they go for it, and of course all hell breaks loose.

The storm itself is a spectacular special effect, with enormous waves and hurricane winds. That, however, is not enough to sustain a movie -- and certainly not for 136 minutes. Padding out the over-long film are scenes of a small yacht and its three inhabitants being rescued by the Coast Guard, who soon find themselves in need of rescuing. One hates to sound calloused, but who cares? These aren't the main characters. If you need to show us that other people are affected by the storm, too, fine. Just do it quickly and move on. Honest to goodness, this movie spends a total of 20 minutes on these people, none of whose names we even find out.

Warner Bros. put a special note at the top of their press materials, asking critics not to reveal the ending of the film. That's a shame, because I'd really like to tell you how disappointing it is. Though the acting is good all around, our heroes' heroism is never fully established, and when it's all done, there's a strong sense of, "That's it?" What, exactly, were we supposed to feel? For as long as this movie spends showing us these guys, we never feel as attached to them as we'd like to, making their final triumph and/or failure (Warner Bros. doesn't want me to say which) a let-down. Up until the end, though, it's a reasonably entertaining (if somewhat repetitive) ride.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1898&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/05/03 03:17:51
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell fairly exciting some good effects 3 stars
4/15/15 stanley welles the perfect bore 1 stars
8/27/09 Stonie After reading the book, twice, knew it would be a great film. And it was! 5 stars
2/29/08 Tammy Kennedy it was good, sad. I like movies based on true events 4 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Wasn't my favorite in the genre, but still worth your time. 3 stars
1/24/07 Matt The storm is stunning, but overall the film is a damp squib. Disappointing. 3 stars
1/14/07 Gloria Dornin ok, i am afraid of water, this made me hyper, but wow, scary that it was true 5 stars
1/14/07 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
6/02/06 MP Bartley Simplistic and po-faced script mar an otherwise gripping thriller. 4 stars
12/30/05 Agent Sands Yawn. 3 stars
8/22/05 Quigley the CG is pretty amazing; that 100-foot wave was tight. not a real sea classic in the end. 4 stars
8/19/05 ES Why the hell didn't they head for Portugal and sell the fish there? = not recommended 3 stars
6/24/05 Mr Fluffy Very wet. Very windy. The Perfect Storm. Does what it says on the tin. 4 stars
6/21/05 Manu Ginobli Pahk da cah in hahbid yahd! 4 stars
6/07/05 Indrid Cold Fantastic dipiction of the fisherman's life. Too simplistic to be a classic though. 4 stars
11/08/04 Monster W. Kung The most annoying movie score ever? 3 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G marky mark cant act for shit 2 stars
6/21/04 876 It's Okay 3 stars
5/19/04 John really qiute good in the begining but atruly melodramatic and sappy ending spoils the fun 2 stars
5/13/04 qulqlan Totally captivating; really hits home. 5 stars
9/07/03 Kyle Pretty good until the ending really ruined the whole thing! 3 stars
8/03/03 Lia Did they have accents? I don't really care. I didn't notice. 3 stars
7/22/03 Flounder An excellent movie 5 stars
6/26/03 cochese I liked it, its not a masterpiece, but it worked. 4 stars
5/12/03 scottyrobotty fisherman trying to get a lot of money are heroes? we don't know what happened w/out radio 1 stars
4/21/03 Eloise Male bonding on a boat......and then they all die, The End. 1 stars
4/04/03 Jack Bourbon Sorry, sucked. NO MORE FAKE BOSTON ACCENTS, EVER!!! 2 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Characters & story at service of f/x. Clooney and Lane are wasted. 2 stars
3/16/03 Peter Clooney and Wahlberg still stuck in 1991. They both ROCK!!! 5 stars
1/11/03 R.W. Welch Watchable, but acting and script are nothing to write home about. 3 stars
1/10/03 Desperado Terrible. How do they know what happened if nobody lived to tell it. Come on. Ending sucked 1 stars
11/14/02 Stevo Sometimes silly but not at all bad really. 4 stars
11/05/02 Charles Tatum Melodramatic bilge with cool effects 2 stars
9/18/02 Spike I was really spellbound. I would watch this again. 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG Went to Gloucester, MA after the movie came out...Crow's Nest is across the street 4 stars
5/23/02 Carrie Kohl The fallacy of a "true story" that nobody lived to tell. 3 stars
4/01/02 Pascal Even the huge CG waves are boring 2 stars
12/09/01 Tam Forgettable and BORING! All the actors look as if they'd rather be somewhere else. 2 stars
11/30/01 Scottish Kilt predictable piece of pish, more glorious failure. 2 stars
11/22/01 Andrew Carden Long, Boring, Tiring, Unfunny, Badly Done, and Just Totally Dull Movie. 1 stars
11/19/01 Maurice. Entertaining by why would you pat the captian on the back just before you drown 4 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith Way to Go... Mr. Clooney! 5 stars
9/16/01 Rebecca Wahlberg they should have trimmed mark's hair and beard and luckily they showed his pecks. 3 stars
8/18/01 Dr. Thompson Clooney and Wahberg are hollywoods most romantic couple 3 stars
8/17/01 Trish Thrilling and heartbreaking, with awesome special effects 4 stars
8/05/01 Amy Hello people!! It rocked!! You can't change a true story!! 5 stars
7/28/01 Steve The way it ended made the entire second half totally pointless. Didn't like it at all. 1 stars
7/16/01 Elvisfan Not worth more than one viewing, if that..annoying script & actors dominate 1 stars
4/18/01 Tam A mediocre script and half-arsed acting undermine flawless special effects. 2 stars
4/04/01 Hawkeye Eight dollars worth of water, and it doesn't even look real. Characterization? Forget it. 1 stars
3/15/01 Terrie Smith Leave out the special effects and the film is very predictable. Rather disappointing. 3 stars
3/08/01 Helen What the hell is so "good" about a ship going up a big wave over and over again?? 1 stars
2/24/01 the dodo not too bad but... 5 stars
2/14/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Should've been called "The Perfect Snore"..oh, wait...that was the "Mad" magazine parody. 2 stars
2/01/01 Dan Waldman May have worked as a documentary. As a drama, it sank. 2 stars
1/22/01 Bruce I loved this movie, I really thought it was excellent 5 stars
1/19/01 Ground Zero much better than Twister and Deep Impact 5 stars
1/16/01 The Terminator Wolfgang Petersen is a very underrated director 5 stars
1/14/01 Invader Slow boring shite with a weak performance by Cloony, despite his looks. 2 stars
1/12/01 Jake Exceeded my expectations, one of the best action movies of the year 5 stars
1/10/01 Matt69 O.K., but a major let down. Movie was all special effects. 3 stars
1/04/01 Msitrab One of yhe best of 2000 5 stars
12/30/00 kevin THis movie was unrealistic and fake. The fish looked like ham bones. D 2 stars
12/20/00 Connoisseur thw orst movie I've seen this year 1 stars
12/10/00 T.Smith Markey Mark is a pud wack. Are him and Clooney dating or what? 2 stars
11/28/00 Monday Morning Nice departure from action films that depend on guns, karate and car chases. 4 stars
11/22/00 Rachel Dershem This is a terrific movie. George was wonderful as Billy Tyne, all the actors did a great j 5 stars
11/18/00 The Bomb 69 one of the year's best, actually had no interest in seeing it exceeded my expectations 5 stars
11/17/00 Trina not to bad of a movie although the ending sucks 3 stars
10/23/00 JC23 An action movie that is actually good 5 stars
10/17/00 dan good until the stupid ending! 4 stars
9/30/00 Tom Budgen The best film i have ever seen, the effects are spell-binding, 10 out of 10 movie! 5 stars
9/21/00 White Rabbit Wow! What a ride!! 5 stars
9/10/00 samjuan66@yahoo.com the acting sucked good special efects 4 stars
8/23/00 David Seah There's no goodbye, there's only SUCK! 1 stars
8/08/00 Bueller Cut-aways to sub-sub-sub-plots were distracting, but otherwise, a good movie. Great score. 4 stars
8/08/00 Matthew Bartley It's hard to take seriously a film that has the word fish in it so many times.But it rocks! 5 stars
8/08/00 Viking Ignore the story and enjoy the visual effects !!! 4 stars
8/05/00 Bruce Takes a while to get going, after that it is an edge of your seat movie 5 stars
8/04/00 Hulahula Pick a different flick! If you're an actor aren't you supposed to be able to act? 2 stars
7/31/00 Doglantern s'ok. Probably good if you are an ex-coasty or something 4 stars
7/31/00 Stephen Booth Probably the second worst film this year 1 stars
7/31/00 Overflow Bitch Not great, not bad.... More emotion than most give credit for. Diane Lane was great. 4 stars
7/28/00 John Thorne Plenty of Action 4 stars
7/28/00 js Movie was a terrible bore. None of the characters has any depth (sic).Phony looking models 2 stars
7/28/00 Dave George Pretty fucking sweet 4 stars
7/25/00 Beau God bless the U.S. Coast Guard! 5 stars
7/25/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble It would've been better if Mark had filmed his scenes in his underwear. 3 stars
7/25/00 Melvin wonderful action drama 5 stars
7/23/00 Michael Stoner I liked the effects but Cloony and Walberg's acting didnt get my attention 3 stars
7/21/00 Megan This movie was absolutely unbelievable! 5 stars
7/19/00 malcolm kinda depressing, very good in spite of horrible picture quality at the drive in 4 stars
7/15/00 baysailor@philliesmvp.com Well done for a complicated story; the p-js/sailboat rescue deserves its own movie 5 stars
7/11/00 Mantik0re Better than a swift kick in the ass. 4 stars
7/09/00 Andrew J. Good flick, but the subplot with the other boat and the Coast Guard was useless. 3 stars
7/09/00 Marc Special F/X are spectacular. Keeps you on the edge of your seat. 4 stars
7/09/00 Daria Great waves, pity about the characters 3 stars
7/08/00 Matt Anybody that gives away the ending of this one should be shot... 5 stars
7/07/00 Pierce Lanson White knuckle stuff, great characters, best special effects, REAL-I know!! 5 stars
7/07/00 TOM GREEN It sucked 1 stars
7/06/00 DatherFrawdad please god, let x-men be good.. or atleast have lots of boobies 3 stars
7/06/00 That Guy Supplemented good story, with lots of made up shit, some sorry acting. 4 stars
7/06/00 JC An exciting, edge of your seat film 5 stars
7/05/00 PJ great summer flick exciting as all hell 5 stars
7/05/00 koHawk Really feeling like you are along for the ride is great, unlike U571 4 stars
7/05/00 Alyssa Well crafted movie. You knew that they were going to die, but pulled for them anyway. 5 stars
7/03/00 *yeah baby* People's reviews here piss me off;peopleDOdie calmly when they drown shithead;great flick! 5 stars
7/03/00 William Bartlett good effects... some poor acting 4 stars
7/03/00 cosmic_j horrible dialogue, bad acting, poor story, and all around perfect piece of crap! 1 stars
7/03/00 John Walstad An intense experience 5 stars
7/03/00 Sean Horan Noisy movie--no theme, over dependent on CGI, and there's almost no dialogue. HBS this one. 2 stars
7/02/00 Diva Divine It was so good, it was awful! Only, I used to be a lifeguard and people don't drown calmly 4 stars
7/02/00 Captain Highcrime She's a hell of a boat, with a hell of a crew, with a hell of a lot of shitty dialogue. 3 stars
7/02/00 bornslippy A perfect boredom, very disappointing 2 stars
7/02/00 PJ This was an exciting good time summer movie, pure entertainment. 4 stars
7/02/00 "Persnickety" it was way too over hyped, but none the less it was a good flick 5 stars
7/02/00 Curt Great movie 5 stars
7/01/00 Politicsman Hollywood finally got the special effects disaster movie right! Great review Erik. 4 stars
6/30/00 Jokko Great specials. But Erik's overlooked the painfully shitty dialogue & lame characters. 2 stars
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  29-Jun-2000 (M)

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