I made the mistake yesterday of deciding to catch a flick whose plot appeared to perfectly capture the swirling winds and driving snow of the greater New York metropolitan area.
And, so, I trudged to the local cinema to watch “The Finest Hours”, which one reviewer described as a “riveting account” of a true nautical disaster. (Note: books and movies about nautical disasters attract me like idealistic, young voters to Bernie Sanders).
But, alas, I didn’t realize that “The Finest Hours” Is a Disney production.
As a result, the plot was not only watered down and sanitized to appeal to the eight-year-old in all of us, but the type casting was beyond ridiculous.
The Disney folks transformed what had to have been a brutally harrowing rescue of an oil tanker that had been ripped to shreds into a cross between “Bambi” and “Fantasia.”
Not only was there a bogus, and totally unnecessary, romantic subplot, but the hardened survivors of the battered tanker and the tough-as-nails Coast Guardsmen sent to rescue them displayed better manners than the cast members of “Leave it to Beaver.” This is reality?
Aside from the sweet smiles, nodding winks and hale-thee-well pats on the back exchanged by victims and rescuers alike, there was zero suspense and an oh-so-predictable ending. Even an eight-year-old had to know this pic was going to end up with grins all around.
But, I can’t blame Disney for my lack of due diligence. I can diss them, though, for suggesting the movie was anything but “The Jungle Book” on the high seas.
This latest Disney diversion reinforces my belief that the brand is whip smart, but 100 percent disingenuous. Visiting their theme parks costs more than a fully-equipped Lamborghini and their ever-expanding, and highly misleading, marketing forays reek of obfuscation.
In fact, in some ways, the ersatz content of “The Finest Hours” parallels the absurdity that is the Republican Party presidential campaign.
While I’ve never trusted The Donald or Ted, it now seems I can no longer rely on Mickey or Minnie to be honest with me.
Note to self: Never, ever fall for Disney’s hype again.