By Ron Wells | July 2, 2000

And now it’s time again for [ Film Threat Karaoke! ] (See if you can guess the song) Sing-A-Long:
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, ^ A tale of a fateful trip ^ It started from this Gloucester port, ^ Aboard this tiny ship.
The skipper had bad luck, ^ The crew was getting pissed. ^ So the Andrea Gail set sail that day ^ But they all claimed, “…a bad feeling about this.”
The weather started getting rough, ^ The crew was smelling gross, ^ If not for the bickering of these unshaven men ^ The story would be toast, the story would be toast.
The hapless mates could not escape this white trash “Titanic”, ^ With Gilligan (Mark Wahlberg), ^ Mr. Attitude (William Fichtner), ^ Another Gilligan (John Hawkes), ^ and the first one’s future wife (Diane Lane), ^ The movie star (George Clooney), ^ Officer Jim (John C. Reilly) and a Jamaican Mon (Allen Payne), ^ Here in The Perfect Storm!
I will grant you that this is not the easiest story to adapt. After Sebastian Junger’s best-selling, non-fiction book and the documentary, “The Killer Storm”, it has become a familiar tale to many. In 1991, three weather systems collided to create the biggest, nastiest storm in living memory. Against this backdrop is an A-story about the real-life crew of the Andrea Gail who unknowingly sailed right into it, and a B-story about a Coast Guard rescue team who eventually needed to be rescued in the middle of the storm. I don’t want to give away the ending, but a more satisfying conclusion would have had the film focused on the Coast Guard team. Instead, we have around 45 minutes of the entire town of Gloucester, Massachusetts stating that they have a collective “bad feeling about this” with a parade of all the women the bickering crew leaves behind, followed by an hour of tense water sports.
Director Wolfgang Petersen does his best, and the storm sequences generally look pretty good, though the CGI waves still display a kind of algorithmic consistency. This script, based on all real people is hampered by fealty to the facts. As the ending plays out, you realize the filmmakers had to make some guesses and the end result is that little of the drama seems to have been inflicted for reasons other than greed and general stupidity.
In the end, all the audience is left with is the feeling that you’re really glad not to be a fisherman. I, on the other hand, will now leave you with this song:
So this is the tale of six fishermen, ^ They’re wet for a long, long time, ^ I hope the fish were worth the risk, ^ ‘Cause I’m running out of things to rhyme.
The first mate and the Skipper too, ^ Will do their very best, ^ To keep from falling overboard, ^ In this stormy mess.
No fax, no radio, no ice machine, ^ No land that they can see, ^ Like the “Titanic”, ^ They’re as screwed as they can be.
Take in this wet tale, if you dare, ^ Just to see the effects take form, ^ Around all these unlucky bastards, ^ Stuck in “The Perfect Storm.”

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