Sunday, September 18, 2011
Master and Commander: Review
I've seen this plenty of times, but I saw it again in Mannassas for the sole purpose of doing a post on it.
The British ship, HMS Surprise, set in the Napoleonic era, has been commissioned with the task of tracking down the Acheron, a French war-vessel that has been hounding the British fleets and coasts. In this task, they are setting out to capture a vessel with more men, more guns, and a bigger, tougher ship. Through much chasing, losing and finding, the Surprise eventually draws the Acheron in close, and boards the ship, and takes the ship a prize.
The Worldview: This movie has a very nice twist in the story plot to it that gives it a bit of a Christian feel. The captain had been afectionately dubbed "Lucky Jack" by his crew, because his plans always work and he always does the right thing and gets the job done. This is a bit of a pride factor for him. He refuses to turn back from following this ship even after going farther than his orders told him to go. This causes some tension with the ship's doctor, an avid naturalist who loves to explore and categorize animals and plants. A scene where they were going to stop in the Galapagos for a pit stop and they are sidetracked by news of the Acheron, causes lots of friction between the captain and the doctor. They continue to pursue the ship, and due to an accident where one of the sailors was talking potshots at a flying seagull, the doctor is wounded. This is a turning point for the movie. Jack is forced to humble himself, stop pursuing the ship, and go back to the Galapagos for the doctor to heal, since a wounded doctor is no good in helping in a sea-fight. The doctor slowly heals, and Jack decides it is time to head home, his traverse has been long enough. Due to the doctors exploring, they eventually find that the ship they are hunting is actually docked on the other side of the Island from them. They pull a few pranks, and after a fight, capture the ship. Jack sails home with his ship, and a young officer under him sails off in the Acheron, its new captain. They never would have gotten the ship unless the captain had humbled himself and turned around. A very nice twist with moral bearings that adds a real thrust to it.
Jack humbles himself, and due to that, he gets what he is seeking after. A nice reminder that we are to humble ourselves and God shall lift us up. A very nice taste, that is very rare and very well done.
The captain has a faith in God, and they all pray several times as a ships company through the movie.
The Captain is also a excellent leader, one of the best themes through the movie as a matter of fact. He isn't snobby to the young kids on the ship, but is always kind and firm and willing to teach and helps them learn as he can. He also knows when young men need to have experiences that will stretch them, and several times assigns hard tasks with loads of responsibility to young men when needs arise. This is "Lucky Jack's" best quality I believe.
Minimal cussing, it seems you can't have a war movie without cussing..... grr.
One annoying stream of events where a young officer thinks he is a curse to the ship and drowns himself - very annoying indeed. Some heated arguing scenes, and minimal drinking. Nobody gets positively drunk, but in one dinner scene everybody is slightly loopy.
The score is VERY well done. It fits the mood of the era and the feel of the movie. Even Gabe likes it I believe. :)
Overall Rating: 4 Stars. The only reason its not five stars is because of the language. Recommended if you can get around the language.