Hunter Killer

Directed by South African filmmaker Donovan Marsh in his first major feature film, Hunter Killer is a subpar submarine action movie that never floats above the surface as a result of its lackluster acting performances and cheesy and extremely formulaic storyline. The plot opens with the mysterious disappearance of an American submarine off the coast of Russia in the Arctic, and the unorthodox submarine Commander Joe Glass, played by Gerard Butler, is given command of the USS Arkansas to help investigate the circumstances surrounding the USS Tampa Bay disappearance. Working from the command room in the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Fisk, played by actor musician Common, eventually convinces the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff played by Oscar winner Gary Oldman that a possible coup by the Russian military is underway and that a nuclear war is imminent. He comes to this conclusion after the USS Arkansas reports back that the USS Tampa Bay was torpedoed and that a nearby Russian submarine was likely destroyed as a result of internal sabotage. At the hesitance of his superiors, Fisk orders a team of Navy SEALs to the Russian naval base where the Russian president has been taken prisoner by the Russian defense minister. As the submarine commanded by Glass makes its way to the same Russian base after destroying another Russian submarine that attacked them, the Navy SEALs are tasked with the very dangerous mission of rescuing the Russian president so that he can inform his military leaders not to engage with the Americans because there is a coup underway. Towards the end of the movie, the action picks up some steam when the USS Arkansas is engaged with the military forces under the command of the rogue Russian defense minister. However, caution must be taken as a direct assault on the Russian Navy would likely result in an all-out war between the Russians and Americans. The film attempts to be a blockbuster popcorn action flick but ultimately fails to live up to the name of previous submarine movies. Even the minor appearance of such a good actor as Gary Oldman cannot save the rather silly and stale action movie from drowning to the bottom of the sea. Overall, I found it to be a film that is not really worth your money and only would be if you are looking to pass the time with mild entertainment.

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