White Squall (2013) / Drama-Adventure
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for some sexuality and peril
Running Time: 129 min.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage, Scott Wolf, Jeremy Sisto, Ryan Phillippe
Small role: Balthazar Getty, Ethan Embry
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Todd Robinson (based on the book, "The Last Voyage of the Albatross", by Charles Gieg Jr. and Felix Sutton)
Review published January 3, 1998
White Squall is based on a true story of a ship school set in 1960 led by Captain Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon (Bridges, The Fabulous Baker Boys) who, along with his wife (Goodall, Schindler's List), leads a group of young boys in the ways of the high seas. The crew of lads learn teamwork and how to overcome adversity, but they get a real challenge when a huge storm attacks their ship.
Director Ridley Scott (Thelma & Louise, Black Rain) gives the film a great look and gets the most out of his cast of actors, but the film plays a little too much like Dead Poets Society on the Atlantic, complete with a schmaltzy "oh captain, my captain" ending.
Credit goes also to the effects crew for an exciting storm scene, but that scene is about the only time the film ever achieves any moments of gripping drama. There are some nice character touches, and the film is pleasant enough even when there's not much going on. It's a worthwhile adventure but its overlong pace and limp ending keep this film from taking off.
©1998 Vince Leo