Tuesday, February 2, 2021

2010: Moby Dick, Syfy Does the Melville Classic

"He took my leg. I don't intend to give him my a**," Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. At least, from the original draft. Herman Melville was so incensed at the publisher of his magnum opus in 1851 that he spit at his blacksmith,  The publisher found it necessary to remove large chunks of Melville's story. For example: When Melville could not tell his publisher what the word 'nuclear,' or 'submarine' meant...the publisher struck them. When Melville refused to explain the term "bikini clad marine biologist" to his publisher, the publisher removed the character. Thus the 1851 near-classic has some sizable holes in the plot and theme development, Thanks to our buddies at Asylum and this made for Syfy film, we can finally fill in those holes. Today we look at "2010: Moby Dick," directed by Trey Stokes. 

In 1969 Moby Dick, a 500 foot white whale, bit a nuclear submarine in half. Ahab was serving on that ill-fated vessel and had to watch the whale bite his leg off. Present day, Captain Ahab (Barry Bostwick) commands the nuclear submarine USS Pequod. Moby Dick is sinking ships and Ahab is determined to find the timeless monster and kill it. Moby Dick will even sink a cruise ship called the Rachel. On the way to find the whale, Ahab and his crew commandeer a beautiful marine biologist, Michelle (Renee O'Connor from Xena: Warrior Princess). She wears a bikini nicely and is of little help to the plot in this epic. Still...she's a real dish. 

The Pequod finds the white whale and the two play a deadly cat and mouse game. The monster will take out an Osprey, another submarine, a cruise ship, and a whale watching boat. The Pequod will nuke a squid. Now it turns out that Ahab's mission is unauthorized and the entire U.S. Navy is ordered to blow him out of the water. This begs the question, when was the last time our navy blew anyone out of the water? Oh yeah, a few Somali pirates in a row boat...now I remember. Moby Dick seems bent on ripping off Ahab's other leg and will even fly and crawl on land to do so. As seamen and submariners are killed by this behemoth's wrath, Ahab's lust for revenge will be just as deadly.

Would a bikini clad babe in place of Ishmael have sold a few more copies of Herman Melville's Moby Dick? Was Renee O'Connor's portrayal of Xena's sidekick a sure stepping stone to the role of Michelle the bikini clad marine biologist? Would Xena have been more effective against the monster whale than Barry Bostwick? This is a goody and very faithful to Melville's original vision. For a great literary and cinematic experience, see Syfy's "2010: Moby Dick."

1 comment:

  1. Saves me reading the book, nice social commentary, US Navy can't even sink a row boat, the liberals will say its cruelty to wood.