Master and Commander: Far Side of the World


Serious Ship-to-Ship Warfare

Main Cast: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D’Arcy

Director: Peter Weir

Wet n Wild? Definitely not. In fact, there is only a brief shot of a beautiful woman (or any woman, for that matter) in the film. Which both shows you how accurate the movie is, and how good it is, for not shoving in an obligatory love interest. This is a battle of wills: between our hero the captain and the enemy captain, and our hero and the second hero, his friend and more scientifically-minded doctor. And, of course, between everyone and nature itself, in the form of wind, waves, and reefs.

The plot follows the adventures of Captain Jack “Lucky” Aubrey (Crowe), commander of the British ship “Surprise”, as he tracks down a French warship in the Napoleonic war. His friend and confidant, the doctor and naturalist Stephen Maturin (Bettany), acts as the voice of reason as Aubrey struggles with such concepts as honor, duty, and other like-minded issues of life. While this is a military ship and must, ultimately, do its job, the captain does find time to pursue scientific (naturalistic) endeavors.

At first it seems that Aubrey is completely outclassed: the warship they chase is bigger, faster, stronger, etc. And, in fact, they are chased away with their masts between their legs (figuratively, of course!) twice. Whether or not they win in the end I leave for you to discover. What I will tell you is the acting is solid, the special effects are powerful and believable, and the time and setting are spot-on perfect (even down to having pre- and teens take up responsibilities that would cow many such nowadays). I can definitely recommend this one without a qualm.

Great action, very good film.

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