Big Screen: In The Heart Of The Sea

December 7th 2015


I really wanted to watch ‘Rocky Part 7′ (aka “Creed“) this week, after I watched ‘Rocky’, ‘Rocky 3′ and ‘Rocky Balboa’ all in one marathon while I was sick with a terrible fever a few weeks ago.

It was almost a religious experience. I was crying so much during Rocky Balboa I think I became dehydrated and I fell in love with that big musclebound moron. But I couldn’t watch Creed because I had this “wedding anniversary” that I couldn’t get out of, and my wife has this almost physical reaction of disgust when she sees images of Sylvester Stallone now. (Because he now looks like a giant cancerous squeezed testicle with deformed limbs and a busted face.)

So instead, we watched In The Heart Of The Sea, because it had Thor in it and the poster made it look like he would fight a huge whale with a spear. Marriage is about compromise.

In The Heart Of The Sea is about this fucking prick of a whale. He is just a massive shithead. He smashes up this ship and then just follows the survivors in their lifeboats for weeks, just fucking with them. He is a sadistic arsehole,  just like the shark in Jaws 4: The Revenge.

The movie claims to be based on the true story that inspired Moby Dick. The framing device is an old guy (Brendan Gleeson) recounting the story to Herman Melville himself, who uses it as inspiration for a book he is writing. I guess it was too much pressure to make a movie of Moby Dick, so Ron Howard went with this shoddy arrangement instead. Think about it: it’s a movie about a thing that happened to a guy who told it to another guy who wrote a book about it that became so famous that people are making movies about the thing that inspired it. It’s like if someone made a movie about a crazy party that some guy went to and later talked to F Scott Fitzgerald about. No, thank you. I have Gatsby. I don’t need this rubbish.

It’s set back in the day when we first realised that oil was useful, but hadn’t yet realised it was in the ground. So our best source of oil was to kill whales and sort of juice them for their precious oil. (That’s gross. Sorry.) This was one of the dumber enterprises in human history. There is this great moment when Brendan Gleeson relays the news that someone just found oil in the ground. He does a great job of conveying the horror that discovery would bring to someone who traveled halfway around the world on a piece-of-shit boat, then was forced to climb into a fucking hole in a whale that he murdered to get oil from its guts, when all someone needed was to dig a pit instead.

That is cruel. Humans can be such idiots sometimes.

Anyway, these guys hunt whales and steal their oil until one day this big bastard says “fuck this!” and hunts them back and kicks their butts.

I hope he or she had kids and one of them decides to take out those Japanese dickheads and their ‘scientific’ whaling. I would watch the shit out of that movie.

A big chunk of this is set on lifeboats. At this point, I need to declare that I have decided something: I am done with movies featuring hideously sunburned skeletons with blistered lips stranded on lifeboats for weeks, while they contemplate drinking their own piss and eating each other. Nope. Not for me. Not interested.

I was thinking about this watching Unbroken, a movie that promised to be a stirring war story and instead featured a long sequence of lifeboat misery. Now I walked into this movie that promised a fight to the death with a whale, but nope. Back to the lifeboats. Stop tricking me into watching movies about people stuck on lifeboats, Hollywood!

I will make an exception for Life of Pi, because that lifeboat had a fucking Bengal tiger on it, who was hungry and understandably confused about circumstances he found himself in. Now that’s a movie.

In The Heart Of The Sea needed more tigers… It was a bit shit.


– Sam Clark



Sam Clark is FBi’s answer to Margaret & David. Check out his Big Screen reviews.

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