Hunter Killer movie director: Donovan Marsh
Hunter Killer movie cast: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Carter MacIntyre, Common, Linda Cardellini
Hunter Killer movie rating: 1.5 stars
In the ‘Situation Room’ the world is familiar with since the day Osama was killed, with her hand covering her mouth exactly like Hillary Clinton did, sits a woman US President now, blonde and dressed in what could be a suit pant. Hunter Killer may have got the President wrong (the film began shooting when Hillary was still a possibility), but everything else should delight Donald Trump’s heart. Sort of.
But ‘sort of’ is all that may be needed in a White House not too concerned with details. At first there is a Russian submarine, Akula class. Then there is a US submarine called ‘Killer’. Then there are two mysterious explosions. Then there is Gary Oldman doing some major stomping in and out of rooms, around and in front of giant screens, wagging his fingers. Then comes Gerard Butler playing a prized submarine expert; so prized, he is summoned when he is in the midst of a hunt in Scotland, where he has just spared a deer, on spotting a baby deer, and is flown straight by an exclusive helicopter to his ship. Then an American super-special secret unit lands in Russia to find out what exactly is the matter. Meanwhile, in Washington, two people keep the movie’s wheels turning, playing something or the other even as your eyes remain focused on the woman saving the world (the western world, that is) in pencil heels and a painfully tight high bun. And just when you think you have settled down, for some good old-fashioned Americans vs bad Russians fight — the former fresh-faced, clean-shaven, well-combed boys; the latter glaring, growling toughies — the movie enters the world as Trump sees it.
In that world, a good Russian president, who “consults” his ministers and Parliament, is dethroned by own rogue defence minister, on live images caught by snooping US GI Joes. America saves the world again, this time by ‘trying to rescue’ a Russian president from own men. Whether or not people on either side want it is meant to add that patina of tension.
By the time the film gets to that though, and some brief lively action, the film has already bored you to a snooze through scenes mounted practically like a lesson on running of submarines, through seas, sea beds, torpedos, detonators.
What is more entertaining is how far Butler and the others take their macho American act, tinged with Butler occasionally trying something different and staring long and intently.
Vladimir Putin, they say, is the real watcher — looking, listening, to everything and everyone. Trump may see a message of global bonding in Hunter Killer, but it’s unlikely his counterpart — he of the shirtless chest in Siberia — would approve of any Russian President being hauled to ‘safety’ on American shoulders.