The simple, straightforward “Hunter Killer” is as basic as they come, but its solid storytelling makes this mainstream military thriller one that’s worth watching. This is familiar territory, especially in the line of submarine films, but the action is fun and the film is an engaging dose of testosterone.
American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress in the Arctic Ocean. When the crew discovers a secret Russian military coup erupting, the United States send in secret ops to free the kidnapped Russian President (Alexander Diachenko). Suddenly, Glass faces a new mission: rescue the team of Navy SEALS and the Russian President and get them safely onboard the submarine in order to stop World War III.
The plot may be far-fetched, but the movie isn’t dumb. The story feels a little dated and generic, but the film is engaging. Plagued early on by bored performances from Butler and the supporting cast (including Gary Oldman, Common, and Linda Cardellini), the film picks up steam as the action sequences deliver. Some of the underwater submarine special effects are laughable, but none of these criticisms matter.
This is an entertaining, intense, basic action film that’ll likely be brutally reviewed by critics who feel they are too good for solid popcorn entertainment like this. If you’re a fan of movies like “The Hunt for Red October” and “Crimson Tide,” you’ll enjoy this one too.