HUNTER KILLER – Review by Susan Granger

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Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) is searching for a sunken U.S. sub when he hears distress sounds emanating from a nearby Russian sub that’s been sabotaged from within. After a daring mission that rescues Captain Andropov (Michael Nyqvist), Glass discovers that the destruction of both the U.S. and Russian subs was part of a coup. It’s a bid for power by the Defense Minister (Mikhail Gorevoy), who is holding Russia’s President (Alexander Dyachenko) hostage.

Meanwhile in the Situation Room at the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Gary Oldman) is urging the President (Caroline Goodall) to retaliate, an impetuous move which might start World War III.

But Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common), supported by the NSA advisor (Linda Cardellini), has another idea. If Glass and a crack team of black-ops Navy SEALS can kidnap the Russian President and bring him safely back on the American sub, the ambitious Defense Minister will be defeated and a nuclear catastrophe can be avoided.

As expected, there’s high tension as Glass and his apprehensive crew try to sneak through a booby-trapped Russian fjord with the help of Captain Andropov. This film was one of late actor Michael Nyqvist’s last roles – and the film is dedicated to him.

Based on the 2012 novel “Firing Point, it’s” adapted by Arne L. Schmidt & Jamie Moss and directed by Donovan Marsh, who had a submarine set constructed that was slightly wider than a sub’s real dimensions to accommodate the cast of 15, along with 10 in the camera crew – but still claustrophobic.

Unfortunately, it’s cliché-riddled and, given the usual wooden performance by Gerard Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “London Has Fallen”), this film falls far short of any comparison with previous submarine adventures like “The Hunt for Red October,” “Crimson Tide,” “U-571,” “The Abyss” and, of course, “Das Boot.”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Hunter Killer” is a fretful 5, appealing to those who enjoy watching imaginary military maneuvers.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.