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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Coulda turned ugly.”

Hunter Killer (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

There's a TV commercial promoting wide cellphone coverage, in which a man out fishing gets a call. Responding to it he says, “I got the contract? That's great!” and returns to his fishing. Now, you just know that if you're out fishing and you get a call, it's not going to be good news.

Submariner Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) is bow hunting deer on the Lochaser Highlands of Scotland when his cell phone rings. Any doubts that his trip will be interrupted are dispelled by the sound of an approaching heli­copter. The Pentagon has lost contact with the USS Tampa Bay beneath the Barents Sea. They need to investigate quickly before the Russkies make hay of it. Their only nearby capable sub is the LA Class USS Arkansas docked at the Vaslane Naval Base, Scotland. They'd unfortunately lost their captain. Glass gets his first submarine command (“We sail as soon as possible.”)

He discovers hostile action, the carcass of the Tampa Bay, and the remains of the Russian ship Konek, apparent victim of sabotage. He rescues its captain Sergei Andropov (Michael Nyqvist) and holds him captive until he can sort out what's happening topside.

handshakeThat's the good news. The bad news is Glass will need a cooperative “sailor in his own back yard” to pilot their sub through the heavily mined fjord of the Polyarny Russian Command Center where a Navy SEAL team has discovered a Russian coup and needs to rescue Russian President Zakarin (Alexander Diachenko) and bring him out to tell his story. Subversive Russian defense minister Admiral Dmitri Durov (Michael Gor)'s scheme is to use volatile world tensions to mask his takeover.


The movie earlier shows Glass drawing a bead on an impressive looking buck, and holding it. The camera shifts back and forth between beast and barb allowing us to ponder whether Glass can bring it down or just wound it. Soon, a doe and a fawn show up, which changes the dynamic.

With this in the back or our minds, we easily key into the action scenes when first a Navy SEAL, then a presidential body­guard, and finally the president him­self receive flesh wounds but keep on going. Too much bulk to be dropped so easily. Doesn't stop the buck.

That brings us to the fawn. Glass examines the wound on the Konek, comparing it to what happened to a cheery bomb set off in a pipe when he was a kid. That elicits a comment about the kind of child­hood he had. It was Durov who planned the sabotage of the Konek, and he in fact is acting like a child, trying to supplant the president (his father figure.) He is small of stature so he even looks like a child. He's nothing but trouble.

(Isaiah 3:12) “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” We need to look at the women, too. There is a female radar screener on the sub. She even stands up allowing us to see she has not the built up physique of her male counter­parts. When the submarine is rigged for ultra-quiet, it takes a tall sea­man to reach up with a wrench to tighten a loose bolt. When he drops the wrench, his fellow crew­man is able to stop its fall, just shy of the deck, with his meaty paw. Never­the­less, the girl does okay at her own station.

At the Pentagon NSA analyst Jayne (Linda Cardellini) is as competent as one could expect. She even shares the secret satellite frequency with them in violation of her own rules, to avoid Russian jamming. She's a team player.

Then we get to the War Room. A lot of strong male voices get raised voicing their opinions. Rear Admiral John Fisk is played by rapper Common to add to the intensity. They all await the booming voice of the leader of the free world to set their course. Who is this big cheese? Why, it's the squeaky voice of an old biddy “Madame President” whose face has gone pale under her makeup. In a nature film, she'd be the failing animal surrounded by the healthy ones hiding her from the hungry wolves. She'd be their lunch.

Her tough decision is to try to have her cake and eat it, too. It is not the decision, say, Mr. Spock of Star Trek would have made seeing the Russians acting so illogically if their intention had been to start some­thing. It is the male bonding among the brothers at sea, even of different nationalities, that saves the day, along with NSA Jayne who is just one of the boys.

Production Values

This simmering war flick, (2018) was directed by Donovan Marsh. Its screen­play was written by Arne L. Schmidt and Jamie Moss as based on George Wallace and Don Keith's novel, Firing Point. It stars Gerard Butler, Common, Linda Cardellini, and Gary Oldman. Butler held his own as a green skipper, and Michael Nyqvist was a suitably dark and quiet captive captain with know­ledge the crew who held him needed. The acting generally was a bit on the wooden side with minor explosive outbursts, but it some­how fit with the plot. The Navy SEALs displayed their training to advantage.

MPAA rated it R for violence and some language. This sub is more modern than the WW II variety in pictures. In modern sub­marine warfare, the action is quick and decisive, but they slowed it down some for dramatic effect. The foundation novel helps make the plot cohesive, not that it's hard to follow. There were lots of fight scenes, with explosive effects and pedestrian CGI.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I stopped into our local university's science library one Saturday before the start of school term to find the work-study librarian behind the desk in distress. He forgot there was an exhibition foot­ball game that day and now he's stuck in the library and can't figure out how to get the game on the computer. I couldn't help him and neither could the oriental student there. But I pulled a big transistor radio out of my bag having purchased it at a yard sale, and we three men being the only ones there listened to the game together. One female library worker just did her job in her little room and let us boys have our fun, even though we all could have got in trouble for this breach of library rules.

HK is a similarly satisfying action movie for guys who like living on the edge.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.