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Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World

  • Drama
  • 2003
  • Peter Weir
  • 132 mins
  • 12A

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.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Captain Jack AubreyRussell Crowe
Dr Stephen MaturinPaul Bettany
Barrett BondenBilly Boyd (1)
First Lt Thomas PullingsJames D'Arcy
HollomLee Ingleby
Joe PlaiceGeorge Innes
Mr HoggMark Lewis Jones
Captain HowardChris Larkin
Mr HigginsRichard McCabe
Mr AllenRobert Pugh
KillickDavid Threlfall
Lord BlakeneyMax Pirkis

Crew

rolename
DirectorPeter Weir

Details

Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox
Released on
2003-11-21
Language
English
Guidance
Violence and swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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