It becomes a film about getting Colin Firth on screen as much as possible
Taking into account the pedigree that comes with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, The Mercy really fails to hoist its sails, so to speak, and comes across as somewhat of a languishing and weak drama that doesn’t match it’s source material’s fascinating story.
Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) is a man with a dream. After poor sales rock his navigation equipment company, he puts down his responsibilities and sets his sights on sailing around the world alone, without stopping. A feat that has never been achieved in human history.
With a solitary and inward story, The Mercy really struggles to show the expansiveness of Crowhurst’s challenge. The majority of the runtime is taken up by his seabound journey, making The Mercy almost a slog to watch. The performances are fine, with no real standout, but the direction just doesn’t seem to be as forceful as it needs to be. Playing out as a quaint and solemn British piece, the film needed to promote its amazing story, not leave it limp into existence.
Vastly unmemorable, The Mercy is a poor use of resources and star-power. It should have highlighted and showcased its great story, and it should have used Rachel Weisz’s haunting nature to its full extent. Instead, it becomes a film about getting Colin Firth on screen as much as possible, when really, the substance was back at home, not on that one lost boat.