Russell Crowe is brilliant as the captain of a British war ship in 1805 following orders to sink or capture a French vessel. Napoleon is in the midst of conquoring the world. The French ship engages the British off the coast of Brazil and a gory (very gory) and ferocious battle ensues. Then Captain Jack (Crowe) goes after the French ship and does a kind of “Crazy Ivan” (remember The Hunt for Red October?). More battle scenes and then three weeks of repairs and off around Cape Horn they go looking for the French ship, which they find and subdue. Peter Weir is one of my favorite directors and he has made a good if not great film. It was just too long for me and very thin on character development – you wish you knew more back story for example. It was as if there was so much to tell Weir couldn’t decide to go with story or style. There are themes of leadership and even nature and science and such. I can only imagine that the fans of Patrick O’Brian’s novels will be enthralled. But not me.
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