The story of USSR's first nuclear ballistic submarine, which suffered a malfunction in its nuclear reactor on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961. The submarine's crew, led by the unyielding Captain Alexi Vostrikov, races against time to prevent a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster which threatens not only the lives of his crew, but has the potential to ignite a world war between the super powers. Written by
Both the rescue sub and the American destroyer were former Canadian warships. The American destroyer was actually an 'Improved Restigouche' Class Canadian destroyer escort which was decommissioned in the mid-'90s. This class did not have a flight deck for a helicopter. Both ships used were stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, home of the Canadian Atlantic fleet. Halifax was used in shots of the K-19 departing for sea. In the background of that shot, Canadian warships can be seen. See more »
The Champagne bottle that fails to break when K-19 is christened is labeled (in Russian) as Soviet Sparkling. The trademark "Soviet Sparkling" has not been registered until 1969 when it started selling in the West and was not used internally until 1990s. A bottle made for Russian market would have been labeled as "Soviet Champagne". See more »
In an attempt to break from his usual sympathetic every man bit, Ford plays a blunt, powerful, hard working Russian Naval officer who is given command of a nuclear powered sub from its well liked, almost fatherly captain played by Liam Neeson. Harrison and Liam clash as only two strong willed alpha males can when they take the sub out for a spin and fight to keep it from blowing up and causing a world wide tragedy.
Based on a true story.
Ford and Neeson give solid performances to this long, murky, cold, and ultimately detached action drama that proved to be one of 2002's lesser box office endeavors. As stated before, the film suffers from a feeling of disconnection, even as numbers of brave men are sent into the nuclear reactor with improper protection ("They might as well be wearing rain coats!")
Could have been better, and it could have been a lot worse. Rent and judge for yourself. Probably mostly for fans of Ford and Neeson.
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