08th Nov2018

‘Hunter Killer’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Corey Johnson, Adam James, Henry Goodman, Colin Stinton, Carter MacIntyre, Shane Taylor, Mikey Collins, Will Attenborough, David Gyasi, Linda Cardellini | Written by Arne Schmidt, Jamie Moss | Directed by Donovan Marsh


American submarine Captain Joe Glass is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress in the Arctic Ocean. He soon learns that a secret Russian coup is in the offing, a conspiracy that threatens to dismantle the world order. With crew and country on the line, Glass must assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to sneak through enemy waters, rescue the kidnapped Russian president and prevent World War III.

Donovan Marsh’s Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman staring, Hunter Killer is an unapologetic 90s action throwback and while it basks in the glory of outlandish politics and toxic masculine bravado, it undoubtedly should have been left in the era it was designed for.

Hunter Killer is a drawn-out submarine thriller that wishes to be as atmospheric, tense or merely entertaining as John McTiernan’s The Hunt for the Red October and Tony Scott’s Crimson Tide, to name a few. However, in essence, Hunter Killer is a simplistic straightforward thriller with little to no actual thrills or engaging momentum in the stereotypical and generic beats it holds.

The performances are incredibly one-dimensional and redundant. The little depth showcased on screen is in actual fact one of the laziest and ignorant aspects of a film witnessed in some time. Purely uninteresting and lazy writing to create any form of engagement that is simply non-existent on screen. Made even more peculiar with the context of a plot that by definition needs its audience to care with the end of the world close to happening but the result is massively tedious and tiresome. What takes its place is a toxic masculine bravado with every male character needing to scream at one another for respect with a constant (which i can’t state enough) need of every character wanting or indeed sacrificing themselves for the greater good only for their character action to either go unnoticed or inconsequential.

Strangely, Hunter Killer has an astonishingly abrupt and anticlimactic edit. All the action, which of course is in the trailer occurs in the first act, little to nothing in terms of action or thrilling befalls the plot, and instead, a deeply unaligned film falls flat with dour results due to the lacking screenplay and the final two acts filled with zero interest of eventual plot, leading to a climax that is so derivative of entertainment. It’s the bane of predictability.

Hunter Killer is in UK cinemas now.


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