(US - 2018)
Directed by Donovan Marsh. Written by Arne L. Schmidt and Jamie Moss. Cast: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Toby Stephens, Michael Nyqvist, Linda Cardellini, Caroline Goodall, David Gyasi, Alexander Diachenko, Michael Gor, Carter MacIntyre, Zane Holtz, Igor Jijikine, Michael Trucco, Ilia Volok, Ryan McPartlin, Gabriel Chavarria, Adam James, Colin Stinton, Taylor John Smith. (R, 122 mins)
A throwback to the prime of Tom Clancy geopolitics at the winding down of the Cold War, the relatively serious submarine thriller HUNTER KILLER isn't nearly as stupidly goofy as star Gerard Butler's earlier 2018 release DEN OF THIEVES, aka DIPSHIT HEAT (© David James Keaton). HUNTER KILLER is less DIPSHIT RED OCTOBER and more in line with Butler's (BLANK) HAS FALLEN series, though the star plays it completely straight here and never resorts to telling anyone to "Go back to Fuckheadistan." When the American sub USS Tampa Bay ventures into Russian waters and is sunk by an undetected Russian sub, Joint Chiefs chair Adm. Donnegan (a bloviating Gary Oldman, who looks like he went to Rand Paul's barber) asks Rear Adm. Fisk (Common) who he's got. The answer: no-nonsense Commander Joe Glass (Butler), a Navy outsider who does things his way and who "never went to Annapolis." Glass runs a tight ship and is put in charge of the USS Arkansas, currently off the coast of Scotland, and ordered to the location of the Tampa Bay sinking to see what happened. Meanwhile, Fisk and NSA analyst Jayne Norquist (Linda Cardellini as Bridget Moynahan), against the wishes of war-gunning Donnegan, get authorization from the President (Caroline Goodall, whose casting takes us way back to the age of innocence that was the summer of 2016, when HUNTER KILLER was shot and it was a certainty that the next US president would be a woman) to send in a black-ops SEAL team led by Beaman (Toby Stephens) to monitor activity at a nearby Russian military base where a live drone feed has confirmed the presence of Russian president Zakarin (Alexander Diachenko). Donnegan is convinced Zakarin is declaring war on the US, but the culprit is his rogue defense minister Durov (Michael Gor), who's orchestrated a coup and intends to take over Russia and make America look like the aggressor.
|Butler with Michael Nyqvist (1960-2017)