The hard working actors are what make this survival flick worth seeing…
It’s 1942 and three US airman have been downed in the Pacific ocean. Floating alone in a small raft and presumed missing at sea by their air force, they have little choice but to try to survive for as long as it takes to reach safety. The story is based, apparently fairly faithfully, on a real life event and you can’t help but be impressed at the endurance test which these men faced.
Unfortunately, whilst the survival story holds lots of potential and the actors do it credit, the film does undermine itself on too many occasions, mostly through sheer over earnestness. The real killer is the score, rarely have I been so aware of how a score is actively sapping a scene of its integrity and impact. The triumphant music which attempts to reinforce how what we are seeing is brave, moving or emotional rarely achieves what it sets out to. Not all is lost though because the film both looks pretty and we have three dedicated performances from our cast. Tom Felton, Jake Abel and Garret Dillahunt all rise above the slightly overwritten script and come out with performances which capture our attention and hearts. The film has its flaws but ultimately we are invested in it and its heroes.
Overall Against the Sun works as a human drama and doesn’t suffer (ridiculously fake looking shark aside) from its budgetary constraints. In fact the relatively small scale nature of the project works well here; we don’t get footage of huge aerial battles or surplus characters to bookend the narrative, it’s script gets one thing very right and focuses entirely on three men pitted against nature and each other.
Against the Sun arrived on DVD and On Demand on the 14th March, will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!