MASTER & COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE
D: Peter Weir
20th Century Fox/Universal/Miramax (Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.,
Peter Weir & Duncan Henderson)
W: Peter Weir & John Collee [based on the novels by
DP: Russell Boyd
Ed: Lee Smith
Mus: Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon & Richard
PD: William Sandell
Cos: Wendy Stites
Russell Crowe (Capt. Jack Aubrey), Paul Bettany (Dr.
Stephen Maturin), James D'Arcy (First Lt. Thomas Pullings), Edward Woodall (Second Lt. William Mowett), Chris Larkin (Capt. Howard)
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Captain of a British
vessel attacked by an enemy ship is torn between his duty and his responsibility over his men's lives.
Though Peter Weir's seafaring adventure is brilliantly
filmed and meticulously crafted, with some excellent sea battles, there are far too many scenes which drag on beyond their means and the dialogue between the characters is, on occasion, very
Paul Bettany wins the acting plaudits as the ship's
doctor, first mate and logical conscience of the stern captain.
This was to be the first of an entire
series of Master & Commander movies, all to based on Patrick O'Brien's tales, but despite all-round critical acclaim, the box office receipts just weren't enough to convince the studio to
invest in further films. Personally, I think a series might have worked incredibly well.