As you know, I arrived back in South Florida yesterday afternoon. My friend picked me up from the airport and we drove directly to the movie theater for the first movie premier of the week. What a dandy way to begin my Florida visit!
However, watching Jude Law as a tough, revenge-seeking submarine captain searching the depths of the Black Sea for rumored gold, wasn’t inspiring. As submarine movies go, Black Sea is probably the best one this year. That it may be the only one certainly helps.
There’s nothing remarkable about Black Sea. It lacks the tension of Das Boot and doesn’t quite hit the adventure of The Hunt for Red October. In fact, the angst, betrayal and underhand tactics become repetitive and predictable.
The Black Sea rattles along with the odd explosive scene and even managed one or two funny quips. The director establishes a crew of embittered men on opposing sides without serving a purpose. There are missing beats and some clunks as logic and reason tumble down the gangway. There is little to surprise but, and hopefully the viewer isn’t too bothered by historical or scientific accuracy, otherwise they’ll be disappointed.
Jude Law creates a grizzled hero though he isn’t given enough to add depth to his character. The soft flashbacks and memories of his estranged wife and son are intended to add meat to his bones but there isn’t enough in them to make us really care and they are more distracting than affecting. We understand and care more about Tobin’s (Bobby Schofield) emotional predicament through a brief exchange between captain and junior than the entirety of flashbacks from Robinson.
Black Sea has the feel of a movie released in February because it’s not good enough to feature during summer blockbusters, too low budget to compete against Hollywood’s big studio flicks and doesn’t even pretend to have any merit for awards season. Maybe it does well for the British sitting at home on a cold, damp winter’s evening in dire need of entertainment. I wouldn’t even bother seeking out the DVD.
Good thing I was happily nestled between friends to save the evening.