Considering that learning to work together seamlessly is its subject, it's ironic that this rowing drama sinks because it feels disjointed. The story is solid and the path, if unpredictable, offers meaningful, visceral lessons in leadership and teamwork. But the writing is subpar. At one point, it verges on insulting: Nisha, the romantic interest for two of the crew members, is given no more depth or personality than being a pretty face. And, defying all logic, when she receives an apology from her ex after months of harassment, she proceeds to sets him up with her best friend, who seems delighted and promptly sleeps with him. (Ah, men writing women.)
Other than the great Shannon (who blinks with magnitude), the acting is uneven: Alexander Ludwig overdoes it as a high energy, sarcastic jerk, and Melton's brooding reduces a multifacted character down to one note. The camerawork lacks cohesiveness: Scenes with Shannon are excellent, but those of just the crew don't match, as if a second unit handled filming with inconsistent direction. The strong, clear lessons in teamwork and leadership buoy this sports drama a bit, but, in failing to take its own advice, the whole endeavor ultimately capsizes.