Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Hunter Killer (2018)

In an effort to clear through my unwatched movies I have committed to watching one a day because I need the 2 AM entertainment rush. Tonight it's Hunter Killer which falls into one of my favorite movie categories. - the military crew on a crucial mission. This time it's a submarine on a mission to investigate a lost U.S submarine in Russian waters. The Captain is played by Gerard Butler who they make a point became Captain by rising through the ranks and he did not go to Annapolis, the Navel Academy like all other Captains in the Navy. This makes him a wild card who will do what is best for his ship and not his Washington superiors when the shit really hits the fan (especially not a hysterical Gary Oldman). The Captain also survived a previous submarine disaster which also will play a bit part in the resolution of the crisis if I know my war movie plots like I think I do.

The film is also filled with minor characters for us to get to know and one of the fun things about a movie like this is trying to anticipate who will live and who will die because someone ALWAYS dies. The cast is solid with many familiar face like Gary Oldman and Linda Cardinelli.

The story has nice current political themes so I bought into the whole incident because the tech and plotting was solid. But do the Russian bad guys always have to LOOK so much like Russian bad guys. I guess there is no room for subtlety here.

I like how Butler is smart enough to figure out that something hinky is going on and the sunk submarines might be the start of something his superiors cannot or refuse to see coming. But of course Butler is totally right but his crew doubt him and there in lies much of the tension.

I admit to enjoying these kind of films so I am a sucker for one that is done well and Hunter Killer is a good film for it's type and reminds me of the war films like Run Silent, Run Deep, Crimson Tide and the superior Hunt For Red October albeit on a smaller budget. But the action is just as solid. There is nothing more tense than being in a submarine, especially a submarine on the run from Russian enemies.

After a Russian coup, American soldiers on the ground and try to rescue the Russian President and if they succeed, Butler has to get them to freedom long enough to stop WWIII. The tension both under the sea and on land is often intense. It's just as good if not better than anything you see on the Netflix where this film is best seen. It was savaged by Rotten Tomatoes (37%) but I was interested the whole time like 73%  of audiences who saw the film. So this one can go either way with you.

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