Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Wanna see me let loose with some rage about a stupid movie that is stupid beyond the pale? Wanna see me get annoyed at a movie that I got to see thanks to the good graces of a Petty Officer I know who got me an invite? Want to see me lose my shit because of a film that is so dumb but who everyone will think is great because there’s shit blowing up?! Well strap in, philistines, because we’re on Lucien’s Wild Ride now! Let me tell you about the film Hunter Killer.
The premise of this movie is actually kinda interesting. There’s an American sub on a mission to find out why another sub went dark. After an attempted military coup in Russia, now the sub and a team of what the film alludes to being Navy SEALS (but never outright says) is on a mission to save the President and stop World War III. Neat premise, but there’s so much wrong that my suspension of disbelief was broken beyond the pale. Let’s get into why. As I said, strap in.
For starters, I just LOVE how all of the Russians have such a perfect grasp of the English language. There’s the barest hint of an accent, but that’s it. They are American as fuck. Are people in this country just scared of subtitles? Does the average dim-witted American just freeze up at the idea of having to read anything in a movie? I got into a discussion with the significant other of the one who got me an invite to this special occasion (this was a special showing for a specific crowd of people) about how I hate subtitles in anime, so I’m sure this will sound hypocritical, but I’ve talked at length about how I have no issue with subtitles in a movie that is just a couple hours long. In a series that I’m supposed to watch from start to end, having to read it all the time is what loses me. I can’t feel connected with them as I’m constantly looking away from their performance to read what they’re saying. Movies don’t present that problem to me. It’s complicated.
The worst offender in the Russians speaking perfect English is the “President.” This guy is American! He doesn’t even try to have a Russian accent! This dude looks like some guy I would meet in Jersey! I mean come on!
Next, the infiltration team. I have SO many problems with these guys. For starters – facial hair! I have railed in the past about how it breaks immersion when I see guys who are supposed to be serving in the American military having beards. Especially in the Navy! You are never told specifically who these guys are, but the implication is that they’re Navy SEALS. The Navy is rigid as fuck on this – no facial hair! I’m hearing that it’s being fought right now, but as of the time of this post, the rules on this matter are clear – no facial hair in the US Navy. But that’s not the only thing that bugs me about these morons.
The film tells us that these guys lost existence privileges when they go into Russia on this mission. The idea being that they can’t be traced back to America. Huh, that’s interesting, because they are wearing American gear, using American weapons and American tech! Gee, I wonder which country they came from! Having them get into civvies? Russian military garb? Using some other country’s weapons and tech to cover their tracks? Nope! We’ll just take away their personal effects. That will totally be effective in hiding what nation you’re from. Idiots.
Oh, and why is it that in EVERY movie about the military, you have somebody in charge who is all “let’s blow shit up!” I love the series The West Wing, but that series had it too. Granted, it was a little more subtle about it, playing it as tactical decisions, but still. An actual Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be level-headed and would know that immediately going to the extreme military option is not the smartest idea. That they wouldn’t look at all possibilities and deliberate among their ranks to try and come to the safest approach. But as I said, this is in every military movie, so I guess it’s par for the course. Portraying leadership as sensible and level-headed? Doesn’t make for good conflict in a movie and then a tacked-on respect moment later for the underling who got it all right and the commanding officer has to shake their hand or some dumb thing.
Speaking of commanding officers, the XO in this movie pissed me off. This guy was an asshole. There are multiple scenes of him arguing with the Captain in front of the crew on the bridge in very ugly ways. That would never happen! If this guy did this, I can guarantee that the Captain would have had MAs remove his ass from the Bridge. You don’t do it. It’s so ironic that Star Trek: The Next Generation handled this kind of BS better when Worf is First Officer when Data is in command. Science fiction can’t do this better than real world analogues to the Navy.
And don’t even get me started on the CG in this movie. It’s bad! Like, low budget bad. I was legit laughing in the scene where you have one of the infiltration guys behind cover and they are shooting at him, but you can clearly see that the bullet holes are CG. That was awful! That was like YouTube video levels of sloppy. It was funny.
I could go on for hours about all the small details they got wrong. Like, it’s not “oorah” in the Navy! It’s “hooyah.” Or the fact that how they portray Tomahawk missiles is inaccurate. Or when they say “brace for impact,” it’s actually “brace for shock.” Their mistakes in regards to Russian submarines. But this post would go on forever if I did that.
What did I like? Well, some of the military tech was cool. Getting to see shit blow up is fun. The violence actually looked like it hurt. That’s rare in a PG-13 movie. Or was this R? I counted two “fucks” in the whole movie, so probably R. In PG-13 you only get one. Or did they change that? I can never keep up. Someone let me know in the comments.
This movie sucked. If you like the spectacle and can turn your brain off to all the stupid shit and know nothing about the Navy, you’ll like it. For me, I can’t do that, and I think this was stupid with a capital S.
4 out of 10