Movie Review: 'Hunter Killer'

John Thomas

Where do one’s loyalties lie – with family, friends, colleagues, country or comrades in arms? The decision depends mainly on the circumstances of the persons being loyal and to whom they are directing their loyalty. Men participating in perilous jobs frequently find their loyalties directed to their comrades with whom they live and work – sometimes for months at a time.

Somewhere in the depths of the sea near one of Russia’s coveted submarine ports slithers a Russian nuclear submarine. Observing its movements from a discrete distance is an American submarine. Suddenly an explosion bursts a hole in the side of the Soviet craft causing it to list heavily at first and then sink to the bottom. Immediately aware of the explosion, Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) of the American sub commands his crew to prepare for attack – we may be next, he thinks.

The military headquarters in the Pentagon is also mindful of the explosion and the Naval chief of staff is ready, willing and able to attack Russia and anything Russian. His excitement for the attack is tempered by the US president who feels that more information should be collected and evaluated before beginning a nuclear war with the Russians. The president takes this approach not because she is a woman, but because she is prudent.

Owing to the complete and utter silence on board his sub, sonar picks up a faint tapping sound. Captain Glass feels there may be survivors onboard the sunken sub sending a help message – what to do, help or ignore? Meanwhile on land the Russians are busy raising their own havoc at the submarine base. The Russian president is kidnapped, his personal staff members are being murdered and, led by a megalomaniacal admiral, the military is leading a coup to overthrow the government. The Pentagon shortly becomes aware of these new developments. The US commanding officer is in a frenetic mode to kill, kill, kill. The US president is reluctant.

Meanwhile at the bottom of the sea, Captain Glass takes it upon himself to attempt to rescue the Russians – they are fellow mariners after all, aren’t they? The first rescued man to enter the US sub is the Russian captain, Vlade Sutrev (Ilia Volok) followed by three of his staff – formidable opponents with only one thing in common! An arrangement of mutual trust needs to be arranged between the two captains as the Pentagon has now ordered Glass to rescue the Russian president. To accomplish this feat, Glass has to enter the bay of the Russian submarine base. Can he trust Sutrev to guide the US sub in and out of the bay? Will he be led into a trap and he and his crew members become prisoners? Is the loyalty of two captains/comrades to their careers and fellow seamen strong enough for them to overcome their political differences and reach a solution to the dilemma?

Hunter Killer is directed by Donovan Marsh (Credits: Avenged, Spud). This “should see” movie runs 122 minutes.


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