Author Topic: The Hunt for Red October (1990)  (Read 1189 times)

Offline Antares

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The Hunt for Red October (1990)
« on: February 27, 2010, 12:10:38 AM »
The Hunt for Red October





Year: 1990
Film Studio: Paramount Pictures
Genre: Action, Drama, Suspense/Thriller
Length: 135 Min.

Director
John McTiernan (1951)

Writing
Tom Clancy (1947)...Novel "The Hunt For Red October"
Larry Ferguson (1940)...Screenplay
Donald Stewart (1930)...Screenplay

Producer
Larry DeWaay
Mace Neufeld (1928)
Jerry Sherlock

Cinematographer
Jan De Bont (1943)

Music
Basil Poledouris (1945)...Composer

Stars
Sean Connery (1930) as Marko Ramius
Alec Baldwin (1958) as Jack Ryan
Scott Glenn (1941) as Bart Mancuso
Sam Neill (1947) as Captain Borodin
James Earl Jones (1931) as Admiral Greer
Joss Ackland (1928) as Andrei Lysenko
Richard Jordan (1938) as Jeffrey Pelt
Peter Firth (1953) as Ivan Putin

Review
       There is nothing like the thrill of the hunt to re-awaken in each man they’re long since dormant primordial instincts. As the sortie is undertaken, the rush of adrenaline that is released to the brain takes on a narcotic quality, which can be as addictive as any known drug to humanity. Sadly, when the prey is captured, a sense of letdown can sometimes occur in the hunter’s mind as the thrill of the chase ends. This is the exact feeling that I felt after watching The Hunt for Red October. As the premise of the story unfolded, I was drawn into the intrigue and the political maneuverings of our countries military and espionage complexes and how they dealt with potential dangers to our national security. But when the Navy finally makes contact with the renegade Captain and the prized submarine, the story starts to become clichéd in its eventual outcome.

       The Red October is the first of a new class of Russian nuclear attack submarine, whose revolutionary new propulsion system renders it completely undetectable to modern U.S. tracking methods. This sends the brass at the Pentagon and the CIA into a frenzy of fear as to the purpose of this new warship. Their fears will be summarily validated when a communiqué from the Kremlin arrives with news of impending doom for our country. The Captain of the Red October, Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) has gone insane and plans to park his ship off of the East coast of the United States and launch all his nuclear missiles. As the Joint Chiefs debate over what course of action to take, a CIA consultant Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) suggests that maybe Ramius hasn’t gone crazy and that he really wants to defect to the USA. As the meeting adjourns, only one man in the room is willing to give Ryan’s theory a chance at legitimacy, and he is the most important man in the room, the Secretary of State (Richard Jordan). He gives Ryan just 48 hours to prove his theory true before he uses any measure available to destroy Ramius.

       In Ryan’s venture to prove that Ramius is not a madman, the first half of the film keeps you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, when he is proven correct, the film starts to devolve into a series of impractical situations that tend to diminish the credibility of the screenplay. When another Russian sub suddenly and unknowingly appears ready to destroy the Red October, an underwater game of chicken takes place between the two Russian subs and the American sub that first made contact with Ramius. How could the third sub have crept up so stealthily and fired torpedoes without the destroyer on the surface becoming aware of its presence? Another improbability occurs when Ramius and Ryan set off to kill a KGB spy who is about to detonate the missiles in their silo’s. As the two leave the bridge to hunt down the implanted agent, U.S. Capt. Mancuso (Scott Glenn) is left in charge to fight with the other Russian sub, even though he speaks no Russian and Ramius’ executive staff speaks no English. Yet, as the three subs are giving battle beneath the waves, Mancuso gives orders to the Russian officers without any hint of a language barrier.

       If you’ve reached this point in my review, you probably think that I did not like this film, quite the contrary, The Hunt for Red October is a taut and well paced suspense drama. Its screenplay pulls no punches and plays it safe, giving the viewer exactly what they are expecting. My contention though, is that in another twenty five years or so, it will appear as anachronistic as The Longest Day or The Battle of the Bulge does to modern day audiences.


Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 12:02:26 AM by Antares »