Between, Marvel, Star Wars
and their own animated films, it can be easy to forget that Disney occasionally makes other movies too. The Finest Hours
isn’t part of a major franchise or based on a comic book. Instead, this one goes to another often mined, but often forgotten genre, the inspirational story.
While The Finest Hours
is a perfectly good movie to see, check out our review
if you want more detail about that, the question we’re answering here is, if you do go see it, should you see it in 3D. 3D movies want to pull that much more money out of your wallet, so you need to know if that’s money well spent. Check out this breakdown of the different aspects of 3D viewing to decide if this one is worth going the extra mile.
The Finest Hours
is a film about a daring rescue at sea. While not a straight up action movie, it has all the beats that you would expect from a suspenseful and dramatic rescue movie. The only problem is that the rescue is only ? of the film. The entire first act consists of people wandering around offices and having conversations -- not exactly the best use of 3D. There’s plenty of good 3D fodder in the film, but much of the run time just isn't dedicated to what 3D does well.
Planning & Effort Score
While The Finest Hours
doesn’t have the punch of a Marvel superhero movie
or the new Star Wars
, it is made by Disney
, who has learned a few things about 3D over the years. Still, it's clear that they made a movie first and then added the 3D later. The 3D is there, and it's fine, but nothing about the film was designed to take advantage of the format.
Before the Window Score
There’s very little that jumps out of the frame at you in The Finest Hours
. On the one hand they should be commended for this, as the inclination to have a wave crash down the audience had to be powerful, but would have been a gimmick. The most interesting thing they do is with the storm itself. The rain and snow blow all over the place and while it doesn’t fly out at you in the traditional sense, it does fill the front of the frame.
Beyond the Window Score
If there's an area where The Finest Hours
does shine in 3D, this is it. The ocean is far and wide and the 3D allows the movie to show that. From showing the small boat on a giant ocean as well as going underwater and showing the ocean from that perspective, the simple power of the ocean is well defined thanks to the film’s 3D.
3D glasses by their very nature dim the image that you’re looking at on screen. Unfortunately, when 90% of your movie takes place during a massive storm, and a large portion of that takes place at night, you have a dark movie already, and adding the extra layer of the glasses doesn’t help. While the movie never gets so dark that it’s unwatchable, the entire film is just generally dim.
While not the most scientific test in the history of 3D film, you can see how much went went into the 3D production by how blurry the image is without your glasses on. What you discover by doing this during The Finest Hours
is that your image is a blur most of the time, whether you’re watching a major action sequence or even a basic conversation between characters.
Audience Health Score
While I myself am relatively safe from motion sickness that doesn’t include the teacups at Disneyland
, I would urge caution for anybody who is prone to motion sickness from 3D. The vast majority of the movie does take place at sea and while the camera doesn’t rock around like an unsteady boat, it does shift seamlessly between underwater and above water shots and show the motion of waves. If you only get seasick when you’re actually on a boat, you’ll be fine, but if simply looking at a rocking boat gets your stomach shifting, the 3D is only going to make that worse.