Adapted from the Sebastian Junger bestseller about a Gloucester fishing boat getting caught in a hellacious Atlantic storm, The Perfect Storm
has a white-knuckle kind of suspense to it, even though the fate of its Gloucestermen has been widely known in advance. George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and John C. Reilly have enough gravity to make us care at least a little about their characters, but the film ultimately cares less about people than it does about the scary spectacle of its storm. With the wild, nightmarish ride which is the film’s main selling point, The Perfect Storm
is at least partly trapped in the sort of high-tech blood and thunder that makes even adventure stories into modified horror films in contemporary Hollywood. The story would have been strictly B-movie in the old Hollywood, and for all its expensive production values, the film still has more in common with the old traveling sideshows than it does with any truly great adventure drama.