by Hope Madden
On a scale from Gerard Butler to 10, how bad is Hunter Killer?
It’s not London Has Fallen bad. Or Gods of Egypt bad. It’s not Geostorm bad, but what is, really?
But is it any good?
Well, no. Don’t get loony. I’m just saying, it could be worse. You know, because Gerard Butler stars.
That doesn’t make him the worst actor in history. It’s just that he’s not especially talented and he makes impressively awful films. And yet, the king of January inexplicably gets a prime October release with this one, playing Captain Joe Glass.
He’s not an Annapolis guy, but that doesn’t mean he can’t successfully lead his first crew through Arctic waters to save the President of Russia from a botched coups attempt.
If you’re worried about subtitles—well, you’re clearly not familiar with the work of Mr. Butler. No, fortunately the Russians only speak Russian when it doesn’t matter if we understand what they say. The moment the dialog is important they switch (sometimes mid-scene) to English. How lucky is that?
I’m sure we’d never be able to follow this plot otherwise. It’s not like every scene is telegraphed in advanced.
Director Donovan Marsh’s film is not unwatchable. It’s shallowly packaged derivative entertainment, boasting passable water scenes and hand-to-hand action choreography that’s entirely adequate. It’s the drama that will make you wince.
There are three primary focal points. Firstly, the drama back in DC, where level heads try to outmaneuver war mongers. Gary Oldman plays a monger.
Everybody follows up their Oscar with garbage. Don’t fret for Gary.
Common plays one of those level heads. This is literally Common’s third film in three weeks. The prior two—The Hate U Give and All About Nina—were both very good. Nobody bats 1000.
The second dramatic focus takes place on the ground—thank God, because honestly, without the small military unit landing covertly on Russian soil with their drones, swagger and witty banter, this movie would never leave a confined area and you would feel even more trapped by it.
The highest drama is, of course, hundreds of feet underwater with noble everyman Cap. Glass. You know what he has? A level head.
Just not, you know, a ton of talent.