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Is ‘Master and Commander’ the greatest dad movie of all time?


In 2003, when Russell Crowe Master and Commander was originally released, I was single and childless, and a movie about a boat sounded like the last movie I might be interested in. I didn’t even like it Pirates of the Caribbean movies for god’s sake – not even the first one. Unless the movie is about people left to the sharks by the boat, I didn’t care.

I did not watch Master and Commander back in 2003 or 2013, but over the years I’ve heard a number of people rave about this movie and my hostility towards it started to subside. Although I never thought I’d like a movie about a boat, I also never thought I’d like a movie about driving a race car and my single childless self would laugh without release me for watching four seasons of Yellowstone. What the hell happened to me, and why do I suddenly care about story-based astronaut movies and TV shows?

It’s because I’m a dad now, isn’t it? Is this also the reason why Ron Howard and Robert Zemeckis continue to lead successful careers? Is it because of the dads? What changes in our DNA after having kids that porn skill suddenly becomes our favorite entertainment genre? Why do long shots of beautiful views suddenly attract us? I know it was widely praised by most people at the time, but I still think it could have been The Martian – and the van I drove for several years – which flipped the switch for me, which caused my slow descent into Father. Remember when Wilco was hip and cool? And now they are included with John Mellencamp in the soundtrack of the bear, and that’s part of why I find this show so appealing. John Mellencamp! And Wilco! What happened to me?

Given the devolution of my cultural tastes, when someone mentioned Master and Commander a few days ago I thought, “Hm. Would I like it now? The idea of ​​a movie about a boat no longer offends me – I actually found myself want to to watch this movie. You know what? I liked it. A plot. Is it like when you start tucking polo shirts into your shorts – still not there yet – or is it closer to real growth, like learning to love creme brulee or swirling your wine around the glass before drinking it? ?

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, Master and Commander talks about Lucky Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe), the captain of HMS Surprise, and it is based on a series of novels by Patrick O’Brian. It’s a two hour and fifteen minute film, but the plot is surprisingly simple: Aubrey’s ship is ambushed by the private French ship, the Acheronsuffering heavy damage. Surprise manages to avoid further damage by hiding in the fog. Lucky Jack spends the rest of the film determined to hunt down the faster, larger ship with twice as many men and take it out before it destroys more British whalers.

And so he continues the Archeron across the Atlantic, around Cape Horn and to the Galapagos Islands, where the ship’s surgeon and scientist, Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) – who also happens to be Lucky Jack’s closest friend – becomes fascinated with the unique flora and fauna of the islands. But that has to wait, damn it, because Jack is on a proud mission to fight a ship he doesn’t have to fight, which could cost his crew their lives!

It’s a fun adventure, and there’s a few flavors of story mixed in, as well as a lot of nautical jargon that sounds cool but doesn’t make sense to me – much like the shaky, greengrassian action sequences of Peter Weir, where you can barely tell who’s getting their ass kicked. But whatever! Lucky Jack swallows his pride, listens to his men, and succeeds the right way before he and Maturin play cello and violin together.

Still, I don’t regret not watching Master and Commander in 2003. I wouldn’t have liked it back then because my dad’s brain wasn’t fully formed. But now I can appreciate it for what it is. It’s awesome, and the “less than two weevils” joke is perhaps the greatest dad joke ever told in a movie. Now I feel like maybe I should go back 20 years and reassess everything. Is the 2003 Kevin Costner movie Open range really good ? Does that mean I have to watch Ron Howard In the heart of the sea, too? Where does it stop? It ends with Eastwood, doesn’t it? FML.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You can email him here, follow him on Twitteror listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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