9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Carl Brashear's story deserves to be told...,
This review is from: Men of Honor (DVD)
I have heard some bad things about this film..."overdramatized fluff", "typical cliched writing" and so forth...
This film is so much better than the sum of its reviews.
First, the story--face it, it deserves to be told. This is about a real man who goes through the tenth level of hell and back to achieve his dream of becoming a Master diver. He has to face bigotry from his classmates and his superiors--the latter of whom are determined to fail him based on his skin color alone--and push himself past his limits to succeed. Yes, the plot was hokey in some areas, but a few hokey spots does not a bad film make.
Second, the acting. Only Cuba Gooding, Jr. could have pulled off the role of Carl Brashear, the diver in question. His performance was very well executed and brought me to tears in spots. Robert De Niro was wonderful as always, and I really don't care that Billy Sunday was a composite of Brashear's superiors throughout his career instead of a real person, because he pulled it off without a hitch. At times he reminded me of R. Lee Ermey, but the role would not have had the same depth if the latter had been cast--it was written for De Niro. The supporting cast was excellent as well--especially Charlize Theron and Aunjanue Ellis, whose roles, although small, were nonetheless pivotal.
The DVD version, both wide and full screen, includes a feature about--and narrated by--Carl Brashear himself, who was the head military advisor to the film, and it is definitely worth watching. I myself was amazed at the accuracy of the movie and was deeply inspired by this man who had had so much to overcome. George Tillman, Jr. did a wonderful job with his story.
Overall, I give it five stars out of five. If you thought this film was complete crap, then maybe you should go rent "Gigli." Criticism aside, though, "Men of Honor" isn't so much a biographical feature as it is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and Carl Brashear is living proof.