For Ages 12 and Over
In 1916, Great Britain and Germany are battling WWI, when the Britannic, sister to the infamous Titanic, sets sail as a hospital ship carrying munitions to Cairo. Among the ship’s passengers, Vera Campbell (Amanda Ryan) poses as a governess for the two children of the wife of Great Britain’s ambassador to Greece (Jacqueline Bisset). However, Vera harbors a secret, which she son discloses to the captain (John Rhys-Davies). She is actually an operative for British intelligence, and suspects that there is a German spy on board, certain to wreak havoc. The captain scoffs a Vera’s notion, and refuses to take her seriously.
But while Vera poses undercover, the man whom they all know as Chaplain Reynolds is an imposter. He is, in actually, a German agent who murdered the chaplain to assume his position. Reynolds has assembled other undercover crewmembers and plans to overtake the ship and destroy it so that munitions cannot reach British troops in Egypt.
When Vera almost single-handedly thwarts their mission by drawing a weapon and killing one of the ringleaders, the captain apologizes for his chauvinistic behavior. Unfortunately, both assume that the villains have been stopped and still do not suspect the chaplain of being anything other than what he professes to be.
Complicating matters further, Vera and the man she believes to be Chaplain Reynolds, become intimate. Turning to Reynolds for solace and, after they spend the night together, she discovers that he has been apart of the nefarious dealings and is still bent on sinking the ship. Despite Vera’s gallant efforts, Reynolds triggers a series of explosions that lead to the ship’s sinking.
The computer-generated images of the ship moving across the ocean, with its diminutive animated people roaming mechanically above deck, even when disaster strikes, is chintzy and laughable. The story, however, enhanced by Hollywood make-believe, is fairly intriguing. But, if you are looking for the best disaster-at-sea epic, rent the 1958 English 4-star version of the Titanic tragedy, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, from Walter Lord’s vivid and emotional novel.