Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

The Boys in The Boat plays it overly safe as a crowd pleaser

Academy Award winner George Clooney ventures into the world of sports for his latest directorial effort, The Boys in The Boat from MGM. Mark L. Smith pens the film’s screenplay, an adaption of the same-titled New York Times bestselling nonfiction novel by Daniel James Brown.

An underdog story, The Boys in The Boat is your typical compelling and inspiring sports flick. It tells the remarkable true story of the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team coached by Al Ulbrickosn (Joel Edgerton) and their quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The rower with the primary focus is Joe Rantz (Callum Turner), one of the characters, and his journey through poverty, loss, a budding romance with classmate Joyce (Hadley Robinson), and triumph.

In the movie, Clooney and his scriptwriter try to merge the individual stories of the young men on the team with the historical background of the Great Depression and the emergence of Nazi Germany. The film presents a vibrant depiction of the difficulties encountered by the rowers and the immense physical and emotional obstacles they overcame in their quest for greatness.

One of the movie’s most captivating elements is how it meticulously describes the techniques and strategies used in rowing. The viewer is transported to the water with the team, thanks to Clooney’s immersive and engaging approach. The rowers’ sense of camaraderie and determination is effectively captured, making for a compelling and emotionally charged experience.

As a fan of sports films and Clooney’s as A director, I generally enjoyed this one. However, I would be remised if I didn’t point out that some viewers may find it boring, particularly the younger ones. On the other hand, some older viewers criticize the movie for its lack of character development, except for Callum Turner’s Joe.

Typically, a team member throws out one-liners in a sports film and acts arrogantly, but that is not the case here. Joel Edgerton’s performance, who is usually reliable, feels like he is only here for the paycheck. Apart from a few rousing speeches, he brings nothing new to the table. However, I commend the creatives for briefly including Jesse Owens in the film.

The Boys in the Boat does not necessarily sink as Clooney set out to make a crowd-pleaser for older viewers and fans of rowing. However, everyone else may leave the film thinking it is without a paddle.

Final Grade: C+

The Boys in the Boat is in theaters now.

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The Boys in The Boat plays it overly safe as a crowd pleaser