The Perfect Storm
**.5 GM
Starring: George Clooney, Marky Mark, John C. Reilly, Diane Lane, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio


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BIAS ALERT: Couple of them here, actually. First of all, I have an intense fear of drowning, so this film was more likely to really disturb me than it would be for most people. Also, I've figured out Diane Lane kinda reminds me of my mom, so watching her playing tonsil hockey with Marky Mark disturbed me quite a bit, too.

That being said, The Perfect Storm really managed to rope me in for a while. Got a bunch of fishermen in Gloucester, Massachussetts (which is pronounced "Glouster" instead of "Glouchester" or "Gloukester," for some reason) who need lots of fish go out a-fishin', and hurricanes and jet streams and cold fronts, oh my, combine to create the Curt Hennig of rowdy, uncouth weather systems. Also, another, unrelated boat is floating around at sea to delay the rescue crews from rescuing Cloo & The Gang. So we get to see the fishing boat's daring crazy water stunts as well as all the other rescue unit shenanigans. More potential drownings than you can shake a fat trucker at.

The dialog is all pretty much hokey, corny crap. "I love to fish!" "We're not gonna let two men drown!" "You're a swordboat captain! Is there anything better in the world?" "We're gonna make it, Skipper!" "I know where the fish are!" "I'll love you forever, Christina!" "We can make it, skipper!" "We're not leaving anyone behind!" "Never seen you scared, skipper!" "Golly gee jeepers creepers, skipper, but that's gotta be the most awful big wave I ever did see, yuh-huh!"

Okay, that last one wasn't real. I didn't really buy into any of the relationships, save for Clooney and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and whenever the film concentrated on that, it suffered - and I did, too, because it was all basically Diane Lane crying about Marky Mark - see aforementioned bias.

The storm sequences, however, are really well done and attention-grabbing. This may be because the press notes I saw beforehand said "Please do not reveal the ending of the film." This is big-time studiospeak for "We are actually attempting to be a little different from the standard crap we turn out, so there's the off-chance that something might actually surprise some people." Therefore, I was under the impression that either Clooney or Marky Mark would die, since they are major celebrities, and the other actors (even good ones like John C. Reilly and William Fichtner) were all potential ocean fodder. So, I was unnerved at the prospect of how many drownings I might have to watch, and seeing water raging everywhere with no dry land for miles and miles, knocking helicopters around and smashing people all over the place managed to get intense for me.

The ending is also a departure from standard summer blockbuster stuff. Even though my page is entitled "Knee Jerk Spoilers," I'm still having some reservations about revealing this. Also, since I really enjoyed the surprise of "The Sixth Sense," I suppose I'll keep my trap shut just so I don't ruin things for people.

I just realized right now that this is Clooney and Marky Mark together again from "Three Kings." Kooky. This crew could have used Ice Cube.

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