USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage offers a bit of a stick situation. On one hand, the film depicts a truly tragic bit of business in the history of the American Navy, where the titular naval ship was torpedoed by the Japanese Navy, only to then spend several days stranded at sea wherein several brave soldiers were eaten by sharks. It’s the ordeal that Robert Shaw‘s Quint spoke eerily about in that famous scene in Steven Spielberg‘s Jaws. The film is also the latest work helmed by Mario Van Peebles, the talented multi-hyphenate and son of the pioneering Melvin Van Peebles.
On the other hand, its clearly a big, sentimental tearjerker led by the greatest of all the hams, Nicolas Cage, who is backed by the likes of Tom Sizemore, Aaron Eckhart, and Cody Walker, brother of the late Paul Walker. And when you have Nicolas Cage fighting against a cadre of CGI sharks, the jokes become mighty difficult to keep at bay, even though the point of the film is clearly to be as respectful as possible to the soldiers who lost their lives, as well as those who lived through this tragedy. So, you’re going to have to judge for yourself on this one. You can check out the trailer, poster, and synopsis for the film, which will be released by Hannibal Classics, right below.
Here’s the trailer for USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage:
Here’s the poster for the film:
Here’s the official synopsis for USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage via Hannibal Classics:
Throughout WWII, the USS INDIANAPOLIS was known as one of the fastest ships in the entire US Navy. Under the command of CAPTAIN MCVAY (Nicolas Cage), its crew fought bravely in every major US campaign in the Pacific. As President Truman negotiates Germany’s surrender, he gives McVay a new mission. The US Government has developed a secret weapon, which McVay and his crew are to transport to Guam.
The mission goes off without a hitch, and McVay is ordered to take the crew to an island in the Pacific where the men are to report for training. But along the way, disaster strikes. A Japanese submarine under the leadership of COMMANDER HASHIMOTO surprises the Indianapolis and launches several torpedoes into the great ship.
In only twelve minutes, the ship goes down. Of the 1,200 men onboard, only 900 survive the sinking. They wait in the water, believing that their rescue is imminent. When day breaks, the weather turns unbearably hot. Thirst and hunger set in. And the attacks begin.
Hundreds of sharks surround the men and attack without mercy or provocation. After the first attacks, the sharks retreat, but continue to circle the men hungrily.
The Japanese military, on its last legs, celebrates the sinking of the Indianapolis as proof that they might mount a comeback against the US forces. Hashimoto is hailed as a hero. But he secretly wonders why the Indianapolis was so vulnerable. What’s more, he grows more and more disillusioned with the Japanese government’s refusal to believe US claims of a secret weapon that will decimate the Japanese population.
After several days in the water, the men start to lose hope. Overwhelmed with thirst, many begin to hallucinate. Marks continues to pressure the Navy, but to no avail. As the days mount up, and more and more men die, the survivors find a new determination to survive.
But will their sheer will be enough?
USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE, tells the remarkable true story of survival. Filled with tense action and brave heroes, it is the ultimate untold story of WWII.