Gerald Butler stars as a stoic Submarine captain, coming of a run of blockbuster hyper action films like ‘Olympus has Fallen’, he is here to save us from World War Three yet again, it seems. A rogue Star Wars-esque villain, a Russian Army General has organised a coupe and has intentions of beginning World War Three with America. The Russian President is being held hostage, so the General has complete control for his dastardly plans. This is the big set up for the film, everything relies on the submarine Gerald Butler is captaining, and five Army seals who go in, wait for it… to capture and rescue the Russian President and bring order back to the world! “Wow”, you say, “This sounds like a thriller!”, Nope,far from it.
Hunter Killer is a silly film, giggling at times at ludicrous situations, its a straight play for intentional drama. It’s like a action movie in slow-mo. For example, one of the most tense scenes in the film, calls on an American submarine needing to navigate through a heavily dense minefield, to make its way into an also heavily guarded Russian submarine Naval and Military base. It is very treacherous underwater terrain, but the whole scene is played at slow pace, its just a submarine moving slowly through turning now and then, mind you it does get close to rocks and mines (ohh -ahh). To make it more thrilling they need the help of a Russian Submarine captain they have onboard which they had rescued earlier from a sunken submarine, that is mysteriously torpedoed and now trapped at the bottom of the ocean. He is the only guy who knows this terrain off by heart, by intricate detail to guide them through, blind faith, the pivotal moment of Russians and Americans working together on trust. And that my fellow movie friends is the crux of what Hunter Killers metaphor for the human race, the theme of trust, when really required, see, we can work together.
The more I think of this film the more befuddled I am, sure its intentions are genuine, and message of good, but the pay off is goofy. Gary Oldman shouting up a storm, playing right hand Military top official to the President, hamming it up, like some cartoon character, it just seems odd, as you can see the film wants to play as a serious dramatic thriller. When I say it seems odd, the the film feels straight to video or Netflix, the CGI is very low quality, the editing is having a heck of a time trying to amp up the thrills, without success. The more the story moves along the crazier and ludicrous the movie HUNTER KILLER gets. Actually it becomes a rather fascinating watch, as the more you watch the sillier it seems, logic goes flying out the window, irony being there are no windows on a submarine.
Oh dear, HUNTER KILLER, just doesn’t seem to really work overall, it lacks a heartbeat, just kind of meanders along. This cold war, thriller, stays cold.