Spectacular ILM special effects highlight this disaster drama about the bravery of men who make their living from the sea and about those who risk their lives to rescue stranded vessels from the capricious forces of nature. George Clooney plays a professional fisherman who heads his crew out for one last catch of the season. Based on a true story, the surprised captain and crew are caught in the worst storm in recorded history.
This summer’s biggest “oh my God” movie, “The Perfect Storm” is the most intense film I can remember. The computer-generated action sequences are so realistic, you may experience a little seasickness. Desperate to make a successful catch, the “little boat that could” sets out far from home, leaving its crew’s loving families begging them not to go. But they do. And it doesn’t take long for the frustrated fishermen to suspect that the journey is an unlucky one. If something can jam, snap, stick or wash away, count on it happening. The only bad luck that doesn’t befall these poor souls is a visit from Godzilla. Finally, when the ice machine breaks, which supplies the coolant for the stored catch, Captain Clooney calls it a day and they head back to shore. But what’s this warning on the inboard fax machine? Not just one terrific storm approaching, but two, intermingling and causing the tempest of the century. If they stay put and wait out the storm, the swordfish will rot. So, after taking a vote, they decide to sail through it. From then on, the dialogue becomes difficult to hear, as the captain shouts out commands over thunderous waves, while the audience begins nail biting and seat scrunching. Action packed, with likeable performances, but it is little more than a summer action flick. Look for no significant message or parable. Clooney is one of the most likeable film stars of his generation, but I have yet to see one of his films where he doesn’t profane God’s name. Now, allow me to explain why the misuse of God’s name is a particular affront for this reviewer. While others point at Hollywood’s abuse of violence and sexuality as being major problems facing our society, I think it is irreverence toward God and Christ that reveal the real dilemma. Brutal violence and exploitive sexual situations are merely symptoms of the world’s ailments. The Bible instructs us to reverence God. Yet, nearly every screen actor of this era has misused God’s name or that of our Savior’s. If words are the summation of the heart’s thoughts, then surely people who constantly misuse God’s name are contemptuous of His nature. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:4). “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.” (Psalms 25:14 – Living Bible).