The Morning Light is a boat owned by Roy Disney, nephew of Mouse-house king Walt, and for Mark Monroe’s feature-length documentary, 15 youngsters chosen for their sailing prowess (and good looks) duke it out to be one of the 11 who sail from LA to Hawaii in the grueling Transpac race.
Taking place over ten days and some 2000 miles of ocean, the Transpac could well be a film in itself, but Morning Light’s chosen path takes in some 40 minutes of training and motivational chat first. The result is that, despite the clear effort that’s gone into capturing the sights and sounds of the journey, Monroe’s film plays as blandly as any reality television filler, with the crew making little impression as individuals, and the race itself proving picturesque but entirely un-dramatic.
Morning Light exemplifies many of the values which the Disney empire prides itself on; there’s little doubt that the Transpac kids bonded, stretched themselves and learnt the values of hard graft. But there’s also little of the glittery entertainment value that Disney’s name stands for; by the end, audiences are likely to be as relieved as the kids that the race is finally over.
General release from Fri 11 Sep.