During World War II, an American navy ship is sunk by a Japanese submarine leaving 300 crewmen stranded in shark infested waters.
The harrowing true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, who were stranded in the Philippine Sea for five days after delivering the atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. As they awaited rescue, they endured extreme thirst, hunger, and relentless shark attacks.
Uploaded By: ZACH Downloaded 12,391 times January 04, 2017 at 02:32 AM
Men of Courage is not meant to be anything more than a generic mid- budget war movie with sharks, but it underdelivers even if you keep your expectations low. The script follows historical events pretty closely, but writing has lots of flaws, and romantic storyline is disappointing. Nicolas Cage gives a sensible performance, but his character doesn't move anywhere from "good captain" cliché. The writers add lots of voice-over narration to add depth to characters, which makes things worse. The Japanese captain is reduced to ridicule near the ending, where the two captains burst into tears while saluting each other.
If you only look for special effects, war scenes and sharks wreaking havoc, this movie won't be any less disappointing. Warship effects are of acceptable quality (for television at least), but man-eating sharks are either roughly made CGI, or replaced with smaller sharks which are obviously harmless. Not a single scene shows sharks biting humans; edits carefully avoid that part. No attention is given to the actual details of shark species present on the site of USS Indianapolis demise. For a movie that closely follows actual events (and even includes documentary footage), Men of Courage has an unacceptable number of inaccuracies. It's also badly edited, with scenes interrupted and tied together in strange places. Two hours last like four.
The story of USS Indianapolis appears more fascinating when you read the sources and memoirs, and it certainly deserves a better adaptation than one made by this movie's screenwriters.
Reviewed by 3xHCCH5 / 10
Secrets, Survival, Sharks
Set in mid-1945 during World War II, the USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay (Nicolas Cage), was secretly tasked to deliver parts of an atomic bomb (which would later be dropped on Hiroshima) unescorted to a naval base in the Pacific. Back in open sea after successfully delivering their cargo, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea. The sailors spent five gruelling days with minimal supplies floating on life rafts in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the original 1,196 crew members survive the ordeal.
The first hour of the film was quite brisk and eventful. The main storyline was laid out within the first scene. The backstory about some of the young sailors were introduced, oddly not too much on McVay himself. The USS Indianapolis embarked on its mission, torpedoed and sunk all within that first hour. However, this meant that the entire second hour would only be dealing about the survival ordeal of the sailors among the sharks awaiting rescue. It got maudlin and repetitive after the first few shark attacks. This was definitely not the war action film people were expecting to see.
The actors all seem to have come from the Nicolas Cage school of hammy acting. The major side story was about two friends who were in love with the same girl back home. Another side story was about a couple of sailors, one white, one black, constantly at odds with each other. There was also another side story about an arrogant young officer and his despicable attitude. All these rehashed side stories just served to fill out the rest of the running time before and after the sinking. The best actor for me would have to be Yutaka Takeuchi, the Japanese actor playing court-martial witness Commander Hashimoto, who displayed dignified subtly in his brief role.
For its Philippine release, this film's subtitle "Men of Courage" was replaced with "Disaster at (sic) Philippine Sea." However, for Filipino moviegoers expecting to actually see some part of the Philippines or see Filipinos in action in this film, they will be disappointed. The Philippines was mentioned but was never actually shown except for scene labels to establish the location. There was an extra card interrupting the closing credits stating how the search for the wreck of the Indianapolis was undertaken in 2001 in cooperation with the Philippine government and National Geographic. That was all about the Philippines here, nothing more. 5/10.
Reviewed by phd_travel8 / 10
Surprisingly good despite some minor faults
This horrific true story about the sinking of a WW2 ship on a secret mission delivering atomic bomb parts has been done before in a miniseries but I enjoyed this one more.
There are some faults with the story clichéd characters like the unlikeable captain and choppy editing and slightly cartoon like visuals but the story is so good that it is worth watching. There is a rather clichéd love triangle but I think Michael Bay's Pearl Habour was more annoying. The racial element to the story seems a bit forced.
Where it needs to succeed, the movie succeeds. The plot is clearly told - sometimes obviously so. The characters are quite defined so you don't feel confused among the different characters - that helps a lot. The cast is likable enough and there is a connection to the characters. The sinking doesn't look too big budget but it's quite scary. The horrific shark experience in the water is handled well so that thing are tense and not repetitive. The deaths and rescue are surprisingly emotional. The infamous subsequent trial and court martial are shown but would have liked a bit more detail about the scapegoating. Some of the Japanes point of view is shown. Liked the postmortem at the end.
The acting is fine and doesn't depend too much on Nicholas Cage. The supporting cast are okay with appearances from Matt Lanter of 90210 and Paul Walker's brother Cody.
I would ignore the bad reviews and small opening and lack of marketing - this is a surprisingly good movie. Not a downward trajectory for Nic Cage's career as some may feel.