Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World

Peter Weir (2003)

132min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Like the much-loved series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, to which this adaptation will no doubt be scrupulously compared, Peter Weir's film immerses the audience in the day-to-day life on board a 19th-century British warship as it pursues a "phantom" French vessel with the avowed intent of sending her to Davy Jones's locker. Purists will endlessly discuss the casting of Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey (here deploying his self-described "RSC two pints after lunch" English accent) and Paul Bettany as his ship's doctor and best friend, Maturin, but both give full-blooded performances. It might have been a little repetitive, but thankfully the likeable characters, Weir's meticulous attention to period detail and the stunningly realised action (The Surprise's rounding of Cape Horn is as exciting a seaborne sequence as has ever been committed to celluloid) more than make up for the slightly anorexic story. Sadly for the placated fans, the film wasn't enough of a box-office success to generate the sequels that it seemed to promise.

Summary

The captain of a British warship engages in a tense battle of wits and an escalating test of nerves with a French counterpart during the Napoleonic conflict, a pursuit that takes his crew on a dangerous journey along the coast of South America. Seafaring drama, adapted from Patrick O'Brian's novels, starring Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D'Arcy, Billy Boyd and Edward Woodall.

Cast & Crew

Capt Jack Aubrey Russell Crowe
Dr Stephen Maturin Paul Bettany
Barrett Bonden, Coxswain Billy Boyd
First Lt Tom Pullings James D'Arcy
Second Lt William Mowett Edward Woodall
Capt Howard Chris Larkin
Blakeney, midshipman Max Pirkis
Boyle, midshipman Jack Randall
Calamy, midshipman Max Benitz
Hollom, midshipman Lee Ingleby
Director Peter Weir
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Violence and swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Nov 2003
Drama