Runtime: 100 Mins
What To Expect: A survival-at-sea thriller, unremarkable but not terrible
Louie Zamperini, the man whose war experience the movie Unbroken was based upon, was not the only example of airmen being downed in the Pacific then surviving against the elements in a raft. Tony Pastula, Gene Aldritch and Harold Dixon also went through the same ordeal – it happens in a sea-based war covering thousands of square miles of ocean. A similar movie filmed on nickels, dimes and coupons was filmed around the same time and released this weekend, shortly after ‘Unbroken’ and, while not really all that impressive of a movie, I’d call ‘Against The Sun’ the better of the two.
Tony Pastula, Gene Aldritch and Harold Dixon, played by Tom Felton, Jake Abel and Garret Dillahunt respectively, are three US Navy airmen who find their plane is cut off from its carrier (USS Enterprise) in the Pacific. As such they run out of fuel and decide to land the plane in the ocean before the engines stall. This gives them at least some form of control, for instance deliberately preparing their inflatable life craft. They then have to somehow survive in the ocean and try to reach land. It’s based on a true story which makes it slightly more engaging too.
This is a very small movie. It doesn’t even have a Wiki entry. Not much should be expected from it. But for what it is, it isn’t so bad. The best thing going for it is that it is straight forward, with no sentimental shite as seen in Unbroken, it shows you how they actually put their training, wits and guile to use. A very practical movie with interesting solutions to mortal problems. It’s played straight too, Garret Dillahunt is a superb chief of the boat. If you’ve seen movies like this before you should know what to expect, the eventual emergence of sharks, the temptation of the salt water etc.
My my issue with this movie is that at 100 minutes it is too long, considering the limitations of what is at hand. It’s a small budget movie and is literally three men in a tub for 100 minutes. This should’ve been pruned to 85 minutes and had they done that, I probably would’ve given it a seven. I’m not sure if I could recommend this, but I couldn’t rip it up, that’s for sure. It’s not bad, just average.