Story: Three US Navy pilots - Harold Dixon (Dillahunt), Gene Aldrich (Abel) and Tony Pastula (Felton) - ditch their Devastator torpedo bomber in the vast Pacific Ocean after they stray off course and run out of fuel while on the way back to their aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise. With no food, water or even first aid, all they have to survive is a life raft and their own will to live.
Review: While somewhat reminiscent of Angelina Jolie's Unbroken (specifically, the part when they're at sea), Against The Sun quickly comes into its own, convincingly telling the real-life tale of these brave airmen who faced every air crew's worst fears (apart from being shot dead, of course) in the Pacific theatre of World War 2.
Harold, Gene and Tony are strangers but these circumstances force them to get to know each other. The square-jawed Harold tries to use his navigational skills to guide them, hopefully, towards land. They learn how to improvise with various materials, steering aids and makeshift paddles. They store shark meat in their socks and use the spring in the magazine of an M1911 to fashion a fishing hook. We see them gorging on raw shark, drinking imaginary cups of coffee and fervently praying; Tony says, "Dear God, I'll go along with what the other guys said, but mostly we need some rain, dear Lord."
There are bits that seem to stretch. But then, when you consider that they drifted around 1,000 miles over the open ocean, trying to figure out what to do for food while not becoming food themselves, these sections give you a tiny inkling of the tedium that the pilots themselves might have faced.
It is quite a challenge to keep a film that only involves three men, a raft and the open ocean (apart from a short prologue in their airplane) engaging and involving, but to his credit, Falk manages to do so, and the three actors deliver solid performances while getting completely under the sun-blistered skin of the downed pilots' characters. Definitely an inspirational tale.