Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Why did In The Heart Of The Sea fail?

Here are a few reasons why no one seemed to like In The Heart Of The Sea and it didn't make any money. Numbered, but not ordered in any particular significance.

I chose this image because it's a big a flop.

1. Chris Hemsworth

This man is a giant ball of snot who doesn't know how to do accents and doesn't suit a single character he is cast to play apart from his role in Rush, which only suited him due to the fact that he was a pretty-boy douchebag in it. His voice shifts between 4 or 5 accents from line to line, and he never really makes this character feel any different from anything else he's ever done. He plays it the same as he plays Thor - who is easily the least dynamic of the Avengers at it is. His failure as the lead performance is a critical blow to the overall effect of the movie. The only reason his performances in the Marvel movies have been greeted as successes has nothing to do with him, and is entirely due to the fact that everything Marvel touches anymore is automatically a success. Thor is a box office success, but that doesn't mean the actor playing him is: Hemsworth does not draw in audiences.

2. The whale scenes

Quite simply, they aren't nearly as catastrophic, epic, or visceral as it seemed like they were going to be from what we saw in the trailers. The CGI is a little weird during these scenes, and because of it, the movie never really puts you in a position where you can fully sympathize for the characters and the horrors they're being put through, because it all looks so fake and hokey. It honestly looked like a giant poo with eyeballs and a tail, splashing around in a huge toilet, refusing to be flushed.

3. Moby Dick

Name a single Moby Dick movie that's actually *good*. Can't do it, can you? It's not just because this is a horribly, massively, disguuuustingly overrated novel, but because we've seen this story played out in 1000 ways in film form, and it still just isn't that interesting. The emphasis is almost always put on too many different characters, or has a out-of-body narration that puts you in the role of an onlooker instead of one of the crew. Also, whales just aren't that scary. They're big, sure, and even dangerous in their own way, but there's nothing menacing about whales. They eat krill. That's like trying to be afraid of an elephant. It can happen, I suppose, but it takes too much effort and doesn't really work in a visual medium like film.

4. Herman Melville

Including the author of Moby Dick and one of the surviving crew members of the ship was totally unnecessary, and only further pushes the audience into the role of an observer. You can't be told a story that is presented in the past tense and feel any sense of dread or unease, because in several ways, you already know the outcome isn't going to be as bad as it could have been. It's a cheap ploy to hurl exposition at you by just having the narrator tell you who the characters are instead of just letting them reveal themselves. I don't like being force-fed the plot of a movie, and in a movie with a premise as simple and one-dimensional as this, there is no reason to waste additional time having Brendan Gleeson (who is so poorly-utilized here it makes me hurt inside) explain the details to us. Just show us. Remember, we're watching a movie, not listening to an audio book. It's fairly simple making character motivations translate to the screen.

5. The characters

Wait, what characters? There is seriously almost no development at all in any of the characters in this movie. I wouldn't be able to take more than 5 words to describe a single of them. Apart from Hemsworth, but just because 90% of that would simply be me insulting how bad his acting is and how useless his dry-land scenes were, because I never once cared if he lived or died throughout the entire movie (but I don't know if that counts). In fact, I never cared about any of them. I just watched the movie and I couldn't name a single character in it. That's not a very good thing when you're making a movie about innocent people dying and being put in life-threatening situations.

6. Ron Howard

In a lot of ways, he's a great director. He's done some exceptional movies, and has the ability to make thrillers that really suck you in. But he lacks a unique voice in his direction, and that ultimately hurts this movie. Because it's such a generic story that has been done so many times, it needed a director with a more unique stylistic vision to help make it stand out above the rest. There's nothing particularly notable in this movie about the cinematography, editing, VFX, sound design, dialogue, music and so on. Ron Howard knows how to make good movies, but they have to be unique before he puts his hands on them, otherwise they'll deservedly fade into oblivion.

There are other reasons why this movie didn't work, but these are the ones that really stood out to me. Disagree? Well, you have every right to be wrong, so don't be afraid to tell me just how wrong you are in the comments section below. Happy whaling.

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