When some Russian rebels takes control of some ICBM's, the Americans mobilize. Among the vessels sent is the nuclear sub, the Alabama. But before they leave they need a new X.O. and among the choices is Commander Hunter, who hasn't seen much action. But the ship's Captain, Ramsey OK's him. While on the way, there was an incident and Hunter disagreed with how Ramsey handled it, it's evident that Ramsey doesn't think much of Hunter because Hunter was college educated while Ramsey worked his way up. They're given orders to attack but when they were in the process of receiving another order, the ship's communications were damaged, so the entire message was not received. Ramsey decides to continue with their previous order while Hunter wants to reestablish contact first. That's when the two men butt heads that ends with Hunter relieving Ramsey. Later when some men die, some of the officers feel that Hunter is not up to the task so they team up to retake control. But Hunter has taken ... Written by
Tense little action thriller on par with "The Hunt for Red October" has a nuclear submarine commander (Gene Hackman) and his new second-in-command (Denzel Washington) getting in a chess match of words and wits ala "Mutiny on the Bounty". Russian rebels may be about to launch nuclear missiles at any moment. Commands come through for Hackman to detonate the weapons from their ship, but then another message after that one which is incomplete splits the entire crew. Hackman thinks it is time to take control with aggression while Washington believes that this is way too important without knowing everything there is to know. A wide range of characters on the submarine (which includes Viggo Mortensen, Steve Zahn, James Gandolfini, Rick Schroeder, George Dzundza) must decide which of the all-world performers they are going to side with. The screenplay is mediocre really, but Hackman and Washington know how to overcome that and director Tony Scott keeps the pulse of his audience in high over-drive. Definitely an acceptable piece from the genre. 4 stars out of 5.
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