This film is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 non-fiction book. The setting of is the winter of 1820. The Essex is a New England whaling ship heading out to fill the hull with whale oil. They run into a storm and Captain Pollard disagrees with Owen Chase on how to handle the ship and the sails. Even though Pollard is inexperienced, there is no choice but to do what he says even though it’s wrong and causes them to nearly sink the ship. The crew sights their first whale, a bull sperm whale and the kill is a success. Three months pass and they have no further sightings of whales. Pollard decides to sail past Cape Horn to the Pacific. In Atacames, Ecuador they learn from a Spanish captain that a massive white whale destroyed his ship. In 1850, author Herman Melville came to visit Thomas Nickerson as the last survivor of the Essex. His interview was partly the basis for the book Moby Dick.
I could not help it but I felt more sympathy for the whales than the whalers. I also hated the scenes of the harpooning. The white whale had many reasons to seek vengeance on the ship and the men. 3* (This movie is OK)
122 min, Action directed by Ron Howard with Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, Tom Holland, Paul Anderson, Frank Dillane, Joseph Mawle, Edward Ashley, Sam Keeley, Osy Ikhile, Gary Beadle, Jamie Sives.
Note: Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 43% critic 54% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 2*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 1550 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Lanzarote and La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain; Leavensden Studios, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, England, UK. Hemsworth played Thor and Holland played Spider-Man. Owen Chase and his family relocated to New Bedford, MA and he was the captain of whalers for over 20 years. He became wealthy enough to have his own whaling ship, the Charles Carroll.