There’s certainly a suffering from trying too hard, but that’s always better than not putting in enough effort
Managing to make a film feel real and genuine for a modern audience is often a difficult task. Hunter Killer flies through its story of the beginnings of a new cold war, flicking between control room politics and underwater submarine action. The swapping between on location filming, questionable green screen choices and set design rivalling school theatre productions all over the country, makes for a very rocky journey, though one that never feels totally as bad as the people in charge of the green screen should.
Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) is drafted in as a rookie submarine captain when questionable decisions from the Russian president begin to affect the rest of the world. Set into the water, the submarine is quickly attacked by a similar Russian vehicle, but perhaps, it is not the president setting out to attack the Americans, but someone else entirely.
Hunter Killer would leave a far better impression if it stuck to one method of visualising its ideas. The switching is understandable, but the loss of quality certainly isn’t. The chopping between some of the poorest green screening there may ever have been, and cold hard political cinematography becomes particularly jarring, taking away from the story, which becomes the real strength very quickly.
There seems to be deep set historical basis, not necessarily in the story, but absolutely in the influences behind Hunter Killer. It is nicely paced and well adjusted to a modern audience, with a thirst for action and suspense. There’s certainly a suffering from trying too hard, but that’s always better than not putting in enough effort. There is clear intent to make this a film with a purpose.
The scenes in the submarine offer very little other than Gerard Butler (the less said about him the better, always) and set design with no life or power emanating from them. They feel fake, and that equally takes from the film like a shoddily set up green screen. Yet, the story is key, and its strengths in supporting its ideas and offering some genuine intrigue is more than most action films can manage in the modern day. It’s often a poor film and its hard to become enamoured with it, but there are certainly positives, and they drag it from the water particularly proudly.
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