Howdy, me again. Let's grab the next DVD down on my stack of Blockbuster clearance movies, shall we?

This is a mistake.

Ok, let me watch this first. And....done. Well. That was....a movie. It had a cast and a script and a budget wasn't that bad? I mean, it wasn't good by any means, but it was ok. These types of films are almost impossible to make a good (ie: amusing) review for. There's virtually nothing to make fun of here, the filmmaking is competent, the production is professional, the actors are fine, the pace and tempo of the story is....ok, I guess. Everyone seems to have been trying their best within the limitations of the budget and the filming window, ugh. It's just a typical, if forgettable, made-for-cable TV movie. Yawn.

Anyway, it's a submarine movie, a bit of Crimson Tide, a dollop of Das Boot, and a weird dash of Top Gun. A US Navy sub is attacked by North Koreans but escapes. The Navy sends another boat in to spy on the Norks, but shit goes sideways for a while. The Captain has to survive enemy attacks and an over-zealous fellow officer to get everyone home safely. World War 3 is prevented, promotions are issued, flags are waived, the end.

The on-the-boat scenes (maybe 75% of the movie) are fine, the set looks kinda real (maybe filmed on a museum sub, I think) and the actors say all the right "submarine speaky" stuff when called upon. The only issue I have is that some of the crewmen are shown to be a bit...unprofessional at times? The Sub Service is not like the Surface Navy, your crews are not made up of hotheaded randos who get into fist fights in the wardroom and talk crap to officers in the heat of battle.


Doing dude stuff.

The middle chunk of the movie takes place back at Pearl Harbor between missions. Not much to say here either, everyone is reading their lines well and hitting their marks when they walk in a room. I do like the contrast between the fairly dim interior lighting of the on-sub scenes and the brilliant white sunshine of the Hawaiian days. It only serves to highlight how well the hair and makeup guys did their job, which is good because there's a fair amount of close-up shots of characters emoting and talking about sub-y stuff. God, this movie is boring as shit. There's even a scene at a golf course that runs for 15 minutes. the Captain that guy from Highlander?

Yeah that's totally him.

I guess I could take shots at the admittedly bad CGI of the underwater battles, but for 2005 and for the budget, it's really not that terrible? If it wasn't for the bare-bones CGI taking you out of the moment, I'd probably give this movie a 7/10. In fact, if someone would take a 2021 VFX program and re-work the underwater shots, this movie would be 150% better.

The sub runs silent.

Torpedoes inbound.

The internet tells me that there's a version of this movie that was "gay themed"? That version had the Captain and his XO in a romantic relationship, but the version I got from Blockbuster was not that one. Sad, really, that would have made this movie at least memorable for me.

Anyway, this was such a waste of time (sorry!). Let's hope the next movie I watch is worse!

She has the most early-2000s sunglasses ever.

[Editor Bradley: Thanks for the review and all, Nate, but Pam just reminded me we had all the locks changed back in 2018. How exactly do you keep getting back in the building? Do I need to question the interns?]

Written in January 2021 by Nathan Decker.

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