Friday, June 21, 2019

Movie Review: "Hunter Killer" (2018)

Director: Donovan Marsh
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minute

When a rogue general tries to commit a coup against the Russian president to start a war between Russia and the United States, a special forces team and a submarine are sent to rescue the Russian president to avert the disaster of a potential nuclear war.

Military men and Toby Stephens stands in the water with guns drawn in the movie Hunter Killer
"Miss Norquist, this sounds like an excellent analysis for a history book, but we won't be the ones writing that book unless we respond now!" (Image Source)
"Movies where Gerard Butler has to save the president" is becoming a genre unto itself. "Hunter Killer," directed by Donovan Marsh, is another movie that fits into this category, only this time, Butler isn't saving the American president, no no, he is saving his Russian counterpart. WHAT A TWIST! This screenplay is written by Arne Schmidt and Jamie Ross and is based on the novel "Firing Point" by George Wallace and Don Keith. When an American submarine is attacked by a Russia sub in the Arctic, the USS Arkansas, another submersible captained by Joe Glass (Gerard Butler), is sent to investigate. They discover that Admiral Dmitriy Durov (Michael Gor) is attempting a coup d'etat and has taken the Russian president captive. Durov's wants to frame the United States so war will break out between the two military superpowers. To prevent this impending conflict, America sends in a Navy SEAL rescue team with the USS Arkansas to assist and help extract the captured foreign leader.
Common and Gary Oldman stare each other down in military uniforms in the 2018 film Hunter Killer
"We get caught on the wrong side of the fence, we never existed." (Image Source)
How many times do we have to say the phrase "generic action movie is generic" each year? Apparently, a lot, because there's no shortage of films like this. We have seen "Hunter Killer" many times before with minor variations on the a train, on a plane, on the ground, you name it. Hell, we've even seen Gerard Butler do this movie before, and we bet we're going to see him do it again and again and again. The other projects in Arne Schmidt and Jamie Ross's repertoire are unimpressive, including their scripts for "Chain Reaction" and the live-action "Ghost in the Shell," both of which are totally unremarkable story-wise. From the moment "Hunter Killer" begins, we knew exactly what was going to happen and where it was going to go because the script doesn't leave much to the imagination, especially with Gerard Butler helming the ship (literally and figuratively). Look, we love the dude, but it's no secret that Gerard Butler plays a limited range of characters these days, including generic soldier man, generic policeman, generic love interest, etc. Once in a while, he is capable of unintentional greatness, like in the wholly underappreciated "Geostorm," a movie we will fight tooth and nail to defend. Gary Oldman is always good for a crazy outburst, too, but here, he's too restrained to be anything other than bland. That's actually the film's biggest problem: "Hunter Killer" is far too self-serious to qualify as an unintentional comedy, and it's much too tedious and boring and one-note to be considered fun to watch, and we're all about turning our brains off to have a good time (hellooooooo, did you not see us just defend "Geostorm," for crying out loud?!). Even with subpar stories and not-so-good acting, some action movies can thrive thanks to their effects-based spectacles, but even the explosions in this movie are lackluster!
Movie still of Michael Nyqvist and Gerard Butler standing in a submarine in the film Hunter Killer
"When someone's shooting at you, you know their intentions." (Image Source)
We're not even kidding, we forgot we watched "Hunter Killer" days after we saw it. In fact, we probably could have taken a snooze in the middle of it and retained the same amount of information about it. It's just that forgettable. This is a dime-a-dozen action flick that's not as bad as some, but nowhere near as good as others. Skip this one.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 36%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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