Film review: Hunter Killer is a breathlessly intense action thriller

Have you seen Hunter Killer yet? Picture: PA PHOTO/LIONSGATE FILMS/CHRIS RAPHAEL.

Have you seen Hunter Killer yet? Picture: PA PHOTO/LIONSGATE FILMS/CHRIS RAPHAEL.

Hunter Killer is currently in the cinema it features Gerard Butler, Alexander Diachenko, and other well known stars. Find out what we thought of it here.

In the midst of delivering impressive turns in arresting, dark and edgy films including Butterfly on a Wheel and Coriolanus, Gerard Butler has forged himself a career as a leading man in an impressive number of awful action thrillers, Geostorm being a particular lowlight. Thankfully, his latest action vehicle is a superior and much more enjoyable work than his previous ventures into the genre.

Following the kidnapping of the Russian President (Alexander Diachenko) by his treacherous Defence Minister (Mikhail Gorevoy), Commander Joe Glass (Butler) is ordered to lead the titular submarine into Russian waters to assist a dangerous rescue mission and prevent World War III.

Director Donovan Marsh handles the action with aplomb as it flits from the eponymous sub to Navy Seal Lieutenant Bill Beaman’s (Toby Stephens) operation on the surface to the tense stand-offs between Rear Admiral John Fisk (Common) and Admiral Charles Donnegan (Gary Oldman) in the Pentagon.

Gripping as all these individual story lines are, Marsh often doesn’t marry them in an entirely satisfactory way, leaving the film, at times, feeling a little disjointed and while it brims with nail-biting set-pieces – Beaman’s team storming a Russian base is especially thrilling - and fine performances – Stephens and a woefully underused Oldman are particularly strong - the film lacks the depth and complexity of other similar submarine thrillers, such as Crimson Tide, it so clearly emulates.

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While it suffers in comparison with some of its influences, Hunter Killer is a breathlessly intense action thriller.

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