With a plethora of powerhouse motion picture performances between them seemingly pointing to “The Mercy” being a formidable film and a worthy watch, what we instead found, despite the might of both Colin Firth & Rachel Weisz, was a banal sea-based biopic that lacked, as did the ordinary outcome, sufficient wind in its sails to save this sinking ship of a screenplay. But what made this movie so mundane and were there any redeeming features?
When it comes to classy English actors (some would call dishy) they don’t come much better than Colin Firth, his extensive filmography which spans virtually every genre, utterly undoubted, he landing some of the most classic characters & roles in cinematic history, think Mr Darcy in “Wuthering Heights” for one, or George VIII in “The Kings Speech” for another, while spinning the wheel, his pivotal player in the “Bridgit Jones” trilogy, or his cheated on character in “Love Actually”, the scope of this screenplay superstar also ranges roles in recent favoured films “Before I Go To Sleep” & “The Railway Man” (both with Aussie actress Nicole Kidman). Then we turn to Rachel Weisz, also an Australian, who never fails to impress us on each screenplay showing, not least “Denial”, “My Cousin Rachel” (was she typecast) & the utterly outstanding “Youth”, all this pointing to one oration, when we see either of them on a movie billboard, we are attracted, but when we see them both, its pretty much a screening given. And, having be absorbed by the trailer for “The Mercy” on numerous occasions across previous cinema sittings before eventually seeing the film, we were seduced by the implied appeal of Firth & Weisz, this along with the radio interview exposure it received on premiering in London some two weeks before we sat down in our cinema seat, despite a nagging doubt in our mind that its would be a film that would flatter to deceive, we persevered with what turned out to be an ordinarily mundane motion picture that, for us, failed to flatter or even flaunt the attributes of our acting (excuse the pun) anchors. Indeed, such was & is our disappointment of what could easily have been a compelling dramatisation of the true tale of the failed & fake round the world (so named “Golden Globe”) sailing race attempt of the little known to us, Donald Crowhurst, within minutes of the start of this movie, not just sprang a leak in our lowly estimation of it trying far too hard to evoke the excellence on Englishness, but sank without a trace in comparable plausibility with, while clearly unrelated, the prolific previous portrayals both Colin & Rachel had returned, deluding to a bad day at the office for both of them as far at “The Mercy” is concerned. Indeed, it is rare for a review of ours to be so short, but there is not much more to say about this film apart from pray mercy that Firth & Weisz will choose far more wisely in their next film forays. (DISCO MATT)