Read PBO's review of Disney's sailing blockbuster
Morning Light, following a young team’s preparations for the TransPac race, received its UK premiere during the opening weekend of the Southampton Boat Show. But is it any good? Read PBO’s review below…
Sailing gets such limited mainstream press coverage that when a major Hollywood studio releases a 98-minute feature film about it, you sit up and take notice.
Morning Light is such an attempt, a valiant effort by Walt Disney’s grandson Roy, himself a veteran offshore racer, to get sailing into the mainstream. It follows a group of 30 young sailors as they are whittled down to a crew of 11 and handpicked by Roy Disney to sail Morning Light, his TP52, in the legendary 2,500 mile TransPac race, from Los Angeles to Hawaii. It’s a chance any young sailor would jump at, and the (highly photogenic) crew make the most of the opportunity as they are whipped into shape by a team of professional coaches over a six month period, all the while living in a Californian mansion with a legion of cameramen.
The sailing shots themselves, as well as the swooping aerial shots of the scenery are stunning, and watching the crew develop and mature into a cohesive crew is a rewarding experience. The film itself is an odd mix of reality show, documentary and sailing journal – and once you get past the California-teen soundbites – ‘Awesome!’, ‘No way!’ and stentorian voiceover: ‘this is going to be one epic story’, you can settle down and enjoy the sailing shots, which are jaw-dropping. It suffers somewhat from the usual Hollywood attempts to over-dramatise events, but its enthusiasm, and that of the young crew, is infectious and offers a tantalising glimpse aboard a high-end raceboat in one of the world’s top ocean races – and should win over all but the most curmudgeonly old salt.
The film will be shown exclusively for its first week at the Odeon cinema next to the Southampton Boat Show venue – and will then be extended to the following cinemas:
Southampton – Odeon: Fri 11th-17th Sept
Falmouth – Phoenix: Fri 18th-24th Sept
Brighton – Cineworld: Mon 21st Sept
Chichester – Cineworld: Mon 21st Sept
Jersey St Helier – Cineworld: Mon 21st Sept
Newport – Cineworld: Mon 21st Sept
Weymouth – Cineworld: Mon 21st Sept
Poole – Empire: Tues 22nd Sept
Edinburgh Ocean – Vue: Sat 26 and Sun 27th Sept
Greenwich – Vue: Sat 26 and Sun 27th Sept
Plymouth – Vue: Sat 26 and Sun 27th Sept
Portsmouth – Vue: Sat 26 and Sun 27th Sept
We’ll let you know of any additional screenings or DVD releases once we know them!