In the midst of World War II, the battle below the seas rages. The Nazis have the upper edge as the Allies are unable to crack their war codes. That is, until a wrecked U-boat sends out an SOS signal, and the Allies realize this is their chance to seize the 'enigma coding machine'. But masquerading as Nazis and taking over the U-boat is the smallest of their problems. The action really begins when they get stranded on the U-boat. Written by
Director Jonathan Mostow was inspired to do the film after touring the World War II submarine USS Pompanito, in San Francisco. See more »
Key members of the crew are sent as the boarding party - the sonar man, the chief of the boat, the XO, the radio man. In reality the S33 captain would not have risked his key crew for a boarding party. See more »
This is yet another epic film about heroic Americans stepping into a situation, destroying everything, and creating an unhealthy and polarized sense of morality (the good Americans kill the evil Germans). You could label this film racist... perhaps acceptable when the propaganda was necessary (in the 40's), but certainly not 50 years after the fact.
The film also fails to capture a good sense of life in one of these submarines... since the film concentrates on military glory and good triumphing over evil, the potentially powerful, subtler moments of suspense are hopelessly lost, and the film degenerates into a muffled confusion of trumpets and excessively justified violence.
It is impossible to watch this without thinking of Das Boot, and how much more powerful the cinematography and directing are, not to mention how much more tolerant and accurate a picture it paints of the morality of warfare and of Germans as real people during the war.
My rating is 2/10 on this film, because it has wasted a potentially powerful concept on mindless and destructive entertainment, questioned Germans as human beings, took millions of dollars to do it, and is essentially a cultural regression from its ancestor Das Boot, made 20 years prior.
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