Action-Thriller “Hunter Killer” Debuts Oct. 25

By: Aidan Clarke, Staff Writer

If there was one tangible benefit of the Cold War, it was the production of a string of excellent movies. From “Dr. Strangelove” to “The Hunt for Red October” the stress of the Cold War brought palpable tension to otherwise abstract cinema. Filled again with trepidations between the U.S. and Russia, a new generation of movies and TV shows that capitalize on the potential conflicts has arisen..

Leading the way for that new generation is Summit Premiere’s action-thriller “Hunter Killer” premiering  Oct. 26. Based on the book “Firing Point” by George Wallace and Don Keith, “Hunter Killer” promises to be a gripping cinematic experience. Where it lacks for subtlety and intrigue, it will certainly compensate with high stakes action and adventure.

The film takes place during a period of immense Russian military expansion. In this context, a Russian admiral launches a coups, kidnapping the Russian president. In order to rescue the president, and avert a global catastrophe, a team of U.S. Navy SEALS must be inserted into Russian territory by a new American submarine, led by Captain Joe Glass. Glass is played by Gerard Butler of “300” and “Olympus Has Fallen”.

Butler is joined by Gary Oldman (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” “Darkest Hour” and “The Dark Knight”) in a cast that features other stars such as Common and Toby Stephens. “Hunter Killer” is brought to audiences by Donovan Marsh, a young South African director. Marsh’s method seems to be to combine the political intrigue of “The Hunt for Red October” with Michael Bay style special effects.  Viewers should expect to see a relatively formulaic plot, combined with lots of military jargon, fake explosions, and plenty of patriotic cliches.

“Hunter Killer” was made with the full support of the U.S. Navy, and it shows. There is meticulous attention to detail throughout the film, and this creates an immersive experience for the viewer. Those who enjoy books like “Ghost Fleet” or “The Hunt For Red October” are sure to enjoy the film for its accuracy alone.  I asked a current US Navy Surface Warfare Officer about the trailer, and he said, “It looks awesome. I think it will be like “Zero Dark Thirty” for submarines. I’m really excited to see it.” For a techno-thriller, this is the highest possible praise.

While certain to be cliché, and certainly featuring ludacris and special effects, “Hunter Killer” promises to be one of the most exciting movies of the fall. I expect that “Hunter Killer” will succeed in spite of its obvious weaknesses, such as its rather predictable plot, because it will be fun. As much as we all enjoy heavy dramas like “Chappaquiddick” or the menacing aliens of “A Quiet Place,” sometimes we just want to kick back, relax and watch some Americans save the world.

“Hunter Killer” will not win any Oscars, but it will be fun. I would highly recommend taking some time off your midterms, and going to see it after it arrives in theaters on Oct. 25.

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