Hemsworth and Walker do a solid job as the one-two punch that inspired the iconic Captain Ahab, even if Hemsworth’s Boston accent seems to ebb and flow. There’s enough to understand and justify each man’s motivations, even if it’s hard to become too invested in their plight.
One notable aspect of “Heart of the Sea” is how it deals with its own personal 16-ton whale in the room: the whaling industry. Howard never quite allows “Heart of the Sea” to get preachy, but the semi-graphic imagery surrounding the Essex’s first successful hunt is sobering to watch.
Overall, it’s a dramatic and harrowing tale, and Howard packs in enough impressive visuals to justify a big-screen IMAX experience (if not a 3-D one). But by the end of the film, you get the impression that “Heart of the Sea” has told you its story more than it has pulled you into it. You may find yourself leaving the theater with an inkling to go read Melville’s book, then wondering why we haven’t seen a 21st-century big screen “Moby Dick” instead.
"In the Heart of the Sea" is rate