Russell Crowe isn’t having any of it and he isn’t having any trouble stating that fact. Crowe responded to some criticism of his 2003 movie Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World, casually berating the author of the criticism.
Crowe was in fine Twitter form after he rolled up on the tweet that musician Ian McNabb (uh, who?) had posted concerning Russell Crowe’s 2003 movie. McNabb wrote, “Lots of folk complaining about lack of sleep during the Pandemic. May I recommend Master And Commander starring the usually captivating, attention-grabbing Russell Crowe. I’ve never made it past the ten minute mark. You’re welcome. And thanks Russell. @russellcrowe.”
That last hashtag took it right to Crowe’s doorstep. Russell was ready. His response: “That’s the problem with kids these days. No focus. Peter Weirs film is brilliant. An exacting, detail oriented, epic tale of fidelity to Empire & service, regardless of the cost. Incredible cinematography by Russell Boyd & a majestic soundtrack. Definitely an adults movie.” Way to go, Crowe.
Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World was directed by Peter Weir and was based on three novels by author Patrick O’Brian and his Jack Aubrey/Dr. Stephen Maturin series than spanned 20 books. The movie followed Russell Crowe’s Aubrey and Paul Bettany’s (Avengers: Age of Ultron, WandaVision) Maturin during the Napoleonic Wars and grabbed 10 Academy Award nominations to include Best Director and Best Picture. Of the ten nominations, the movie won for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing.
The story told of Aubrey (Russell Crowe), Maturin, and Aubrey’s crew aboard the HMS Surprise as they receive orders to fight the French privateer Acheron, a new ship that the Surprise is no match for. The Surprise is ambushed by the Acheron, forcing Aubrey to flee into the fog in order to fight another day. The damage the Surprise takes is vast, causing Aubrey to order repairs at sea so they don’t have to limp all the way back to port. Their orders stand and Aubrey must not allow the Acheron to attack and plunder the British whaling fleet.
Could one call the movie slow? Perhaps. But as Russell Crowe says, “definitely an adults movie.” It is. It is wonderfully shot, the realism is not only the battle sequences, but the daily life on a ship, with which Weir, Crowe, Bettany, and company convey is truly remarkable. The movie is simple yet heartbreaking. You can see why it received 10 nominations.
As recent as a few years ago, talk of a Master and Commander sequel with Russell Crowe was still a topic. Critically the movie was a success, it just didn’t translate to the box office as much as producers would have hoped for, so maybe that is why we haven’t heard much about a sequel lately. It pulled in over $212 million worldwide on a $150 million budget. Those splits can definitely cause pause by producers.
When talk of a sequel was being broached, it was to be based on O’Brian’s 11th novel in the series, The Reverse of the Medal, where we find Aubrey sailing on the HMS Surprise with Maturin and the crew to the Caribbean where he discovers he has an illegitimate son who is also a catholic priest. Back in 2017, Russell Crowe even tweeted this: “For the Aubrey Maturin lovers, I do hear whispers indeed that a second voyage is perhaps potentially pre-proposed a possibility. So O’Brian affectionate’s and aficionados, let @20thcenturyfox know of your pleasure.”
So, for those of you who wish to sit back, relax, take in an evenly paced, very realistic look at life on the seas during the Napoleonic Wars, this would be your movie. Its wonderful critical reviews are very much well-deserved and so was Russell Crowe’s defense.