Master & Commander

So I picked up M&C on the cheap at Best Buy the other day.  It was a movie I had always wanted to see, but never got around to it, and when I saw it for cheaper than renting it, I decided to give it a go.

First things first, the movie is gorgeous.  There’s so much love and care put into the ships and designs and such an honest attempt to make the movie pretty historically accurate.  The cinematography allows for that effort to be shown too.  There were many, many scenes where I was just blown away at the amount of detail.  Especially in the ships, the two ships in the movie are just gorgeous.

It was pretty graphic at times, and I couldn’t really bring myself to actually watch the part of the screen where the doctor was removing the bullet from his own gut, but the violence and the graphicness has a point; and it’s why the movie works.  It would have been very easy to simply make a cat & mouse action movie with two ships stalking each other, but they went the extra mile to instead make this a movie about the people on the ships.  Their relationships with each other, with their enemy, and with their captain.  People stuck at sea, eventually against their will, for a very, very long time.  The movie also explores to a great deal the duty of leadership, and the burden it can be.  All this being said, you end up caring a great deal when the battles do happen, and you are invested in the outcome of the characters.

And the action scenes are intense.  Part of me was thinking “Now I know they didn’t just throw a bunch of people in a ship and actually fire cannons at them…I’m sure there’s a clause against that in the stuntman union, but I don’t know how else they could have done it.  I was terrified for these people trapped in the cramped spaces below deck as cannonballs ripped through the hull, throwing bodies and debris everywhere.  The action scenes felt very real, which added to the intensity.

All in all, it wasn’t quite the movie I was expecting.  Because of that, I know I’m going to watch it again to catch more things.  But it was a very good character drama with some great action scenes thrown in, and I don’t regret buying it one bit.