‘Hunter Killer’: a military fantasy much less absurd than we would have liked

Hunter Killer
Hunter Killer

From its early stages it is clear that it is difficult to take ‘Hunter Killer ‘ especially seriously, and not only because its protagonist is Gerard Butler, reason more than enough to trigger all the alarms of “possibly have fun, but you will know” . Luckily for everyone, she herself seems to be aware of his stupidity (if so will Gary Oldman is, possibly, the biggest enigma that the film puts on the table) and offers an action movie with B-series spirit, serious but light , nothing autoparodic but joyfully inconsequential.

The plot is submerged in the waters (forgiveness) of the naive, well-intentioned and unbowed political thriller, to the extent that it seems to come directly from the eighties or the first nineties : from a time when the international political situation was not so confusing and Ambiguous as now, or at least Hollywood did not want to realize it. Bad and good, military men of rigid and impeccable morals, Russians of irreproachable behavior in the war, integral politicians and crises that put the world to the edge of devastation and that are solved with a team of special operations and a submarine.

Thus (almost proudly) outdated is the argument of ‘Hunter killer’: a group of rebel soldiers has kidnapped the Russian president with the intention of confronting the always serenissimos United States of America. Scouring is discovered when the submarine USS Arkansas, commanded by a firm but unorthodox captain (Butler) is sent to investigate in the Barents Sea , in the Arctic, the sinking of another ship at the hands of the Russians.

An example for us to take charge of the charming ingenuity of Donovan Marsh’s film: the president of the United States is a middle-aged blonde woman, who supervises military operations lightly without stridency or intervening more than necessary. The reason for this visualization is that ‘Hunter Killer’ has remained in a drawer for more than two years, since it was filmed in the summer of 2016 . Half a year before Immort Joe became president of the country, and international politics went crazy until extremes that make ‘Hunter Killer’ a nice but decidedly forgettable relic of the past.

‘Hunter Killer’: A movie torpedo

The truth is that based on heroes of one piece, international conflicts simplified to panfletarian level and imagery own video recruitment of the armed forces (the final credits are real traca), the film strips all political content of certain packaging and becomes an insignificance of the Cannon (the final stake against the villains seems out of a ‘US Invasion’, at least). It is at its craziest moments (both discursive and visual, with the submarine doing underwater maneuvers) of a videogame – but of 8 bits – when ‘Hunter Killer’ works as a more frank and uncomplicated divertimento.

But let’s not fool ourselves: ‘Hunter Killer’ is not a trotting dementia like other Butler movies, forgettable but memorable at the same time on their own terms, ‘Geostorm’ style or ‘Objective: The White House’ (Olympus Has Fallen), with those that have occasional elements in common. Neither, of course, he approaches more respectable films and in which he obviously wants to look at himself, like ‘Red Tide’ (‘Crimson Tide’) or ‘The only survivor’ (Lone Survivor), already far superior.

Competingly shot in a few scenarios, ‘Hunter Killer’ does not look for the three feet to the cat (even in the formal: perhaps this is one of the few films set in a submarine that does not pretend to cause claustrophobia) and makes a little ridiculous in his very conscious purpose of not looking for them. The blind obedience of orders and military pride at two hundred percent denote both a conscious avoidance of any conflicting position and a certain naivety that, on a good day, can even be refreshing.

Too solemn to become an involuntary festival of amusement without prejudice, too stupid to transcend its condition of entertainment without more , you can scratch from its thick layer of submersible paint a very competent (and more restrained than usual) interpretation of Gerard Butler. And a Gary Oldman who can not avoid giving everything, and that in his scarce three minutes on the screen he will snack without problems to all his castmates.

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