Hunter Killer (2018) – Review


Gerard Butler stars as Joe Glass who is assigned as an American submarine commander of the USS Arkansas and is given the job of investigating the destruction of two submarines, one Russian and one American, which have both exploded in the same stretch of Arctic waters.

What we find out also is that a rogue Russian commander is behind both explosions and is planning a coup and holding the president hostage. An elite small squad of SEAL soldiers are also sent to rescue the captive Russian president and try and get him on board the US Sub. But tensions mount as the Russian forces are manoeuvred into battle positions as they are not aware of what is happening, only seeing what they think is a provocative move by the enemy.

Hunter Killer is good, if a tad predictable thriller in the same vein as Hunt For Red October, this is well-made with a claustrophobic atmosphere and exciting action. The cast includes Gary Oldman as the gung-ho Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Michael Nyqvist, in his final screen role, as a rescued Russian sub commander who tries to work together with the Americans who rescued him and avoid nuclear conflict.

Each plot point is seen from multiple angles: The bigwigs at the Pentagon watch through the SEAL Team’s surveillance cameras; the submarines and ships use periscopes and radars and radio transmissions each trying to decide what the next move will be.

It’s a taut thriller, if a little cliché, and moves at a good pace. Gerard Butler does his usual thing, in fact a bit more restrained than normal, but is fine in the role of a commander with pressure being put on him from all sides. The Effects of the Submarine battles and manoeuvres are done well and while it won’t win any awards for originality, you certainly will be entertained for the full running time. As stated, nothing new here, but worth watching if you like this genre of filmmaking.

Available on Blu ray and 4K UHD

7 OUT OF 10

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