Hunter-Killer is a Neat Thriller for Discerning Techno-Thriller Fans
This is not based on a Tom Clancy thriller, but then again Hunter-Killer is not The Hunt for Red October. At first I had a bit of trepidation when I saw the Millennium Films logo, but I was pleasantly surprised. South African director Donovan Marsh delivered a competent submarine thriller with serviceable special effects. Submarine based films are a rare commodity and Hunter-Killer is a relatively engaging experience worth a matinée at the very least.
Like The Hunt for Red October, Hunter-Killer is based on a novel, this time Firing Point by Don Keith. In this film, Commander Joe Glass played by Gerard Butler is tasked with determining why the Russians have seemingly sunk an American submarine. Soon a larger conspiracy unfolds, as a rogue Russian general has initiated a military coup against the current Russian President and aims to start a new World War. It is up to a crack Navy SEAL team to rescue the Russian President before the coup is completed.
Gerard Butler puts in time and effort and gives a solid performance as Joe Glass. Along with Den of Thieves, Butler is proving to be one of the few reliable male action stars left in Hollywood. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Gary Oldman, who despite being an Oscar winner, overacts and is simply shockingly bad as an obstinate American General. Toby Stephens who plays a Navy SEAL captain, is another fine addition to the film.
Hunter-Killer is worth watching for fans of techno-thrillers and Submarine movies, it is no Das Boot or Run Silent Run Deep but the underwater submarine action sequences are exciting (a submarine going through a minefield is a standout) and Gerard Butler is in top-form.