Based on the engrossing nonfiction work by Sebastian Junger about the Andrea Gail–a commercial swordfishing boat that was lost at sea in October 1991–Wolfgang Petersen’s THE PERFECT STORM brings the pages to life. The movie features a big-name cast (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg) playing the gruff, edgy fishermen in the Gloucester, Massachusetts, port, as well as close-up camera shots of the boats moored on the wintry docks. Viewers are drawn into the closely knit New England community that is struck speechless by a fierce nor’easter made from three merging hurricanes. Meteorologists call it the Perfect Storm.
Despite the weather forecast, skipper Billy Tyne (Clooney) insists that his crew go out on one more 30-day swordfishing trip before the winter sets in. At sea, a series of tragedies ensues, including a man dragged overboard by one of the 300-foot-long lines and a bloodthirsty shark that gets reeled onto the deck accidentally. What’s worse, the skipper’s right-hand man, Bobby Shatford (Wahlberg), is homesick for his girlfriend back onshore. But it is not until the storm finally hits and the special effects–mountainous dark digitized waves–take hold that the Andrea Gail is rendered helpless even to Coast Guard helicopters and THE PERFECT STORM’s terrifying true-story tragedy becomes reality