It took a hell of a lot of courage to sit through this one.
Featuring early Playstation 2-quality CGI, acting as lukewarm as room temperature and yet another phoned in performance from The Cage, “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” is a film that can surely be missed.
We’re not trying to belittle the subject matter here; what the men aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis had to go through is itself undeniably harrowing, even when you compare it to the general horror of WWII. However, it is our humble opinion that the subject deserves a much better treatment.
The plot follows the true story of American heroes shipwrecked in shark infested waters in the waning days of World War II. One of our first thoughts was: how has this NOT been made into a major blockbuster in the last 20 years? The film is a World War II movie with a big ship sinking, and shark attacks. Seems like ingredients for a large-scale, true-story film (go for it James Cameron or Christopher Nolan).
There aren’t many laughable moments in this picture, but there are a couple. Whenever the movie relies on CGI (which is a lot of it), it is funny bad. Namely during the sinking, when the ship is upright, it seems they tried to pull off their own version of the man falling and hitting the propeller in “Titanic.” What resulted was pure silliness.
Additionally, we chuckled when The Cage got blown off the ship, and air summersaulted into the water. We would have given the landing an 8.5 out of 10.
Cage aside, the film managed to take an utterly incredible story about survival which should have left the audience on the edge of their seats, and instead made it unrelentingly boring.
At two hours in length, the flick is entirely too long for it’s own good and it drags on mercilessly, until the shark-infested waters of the Pacific seem a tempting alternative.
And come to think of it, the love triangle present between characters D’Antonio, Smithwick and Clara is straight-up stolen from Michael Bay’s 2002 film “Pearl Harbor,” which is also set in WWII and includes a ship which is sunk by the Japanese. Coincidence? Probably not. *if this triangle occurred in real life, we will retract this statement.
In the end, this movie is not worth watching on any level. It is boring, too long, has terrible effects, wooden performances and above all, is a pretty crappy tribute to the men aboard the U.S.S Indianapolis. Perhaps that will be the lasting contribution of this film; paving the way for a much, much better telling of this story.
There is nothing redeemable about this movie. And so, it gets a single Cage. That’s probably fitting, because there is only one Nic Cage in this movie, and try as we might, we can’t seem to keep him out of these bad, bad movies.