Hunter Killer Review

Hunter Killer
When the Russian president is kidnapped by a rogue general, who hopes to make it look like America was responsible, World War III seems inevitable. Unless Commander Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) can get his Hunter Killer class submarine close enough to the action to attempt a risky rescue mission…

by Chris Hewitt |
Published on
Release Date:

02 Nov 2018

Original Title:

Hunter Killer

What’s long, hard, and full of seamen? Gerry Butler’s new film, in which the Scottish tough nut takes a break from rescuing the American President in the [INSERT WORD SEEMINGLY CHOSEN AT RANDOM HERE] Has Fallen movies to rescue the Russian president instead. Now that’s versatility. He does so by getting in deep as the commander of an American submarine tasked with rescuing the kidnapped Russian prez (here a moderate, and not at all Putin-esque), and averting World War III.

Hunter Killer

Coming on like an unofficial Tom Clancy adaptation, Donovan Marsh’s thriller flits between the action on the surface (where a seriously rugged Toby Stephens impresses as a Special Forces badass), a command bunker (where special guest star Gary Oldman shouts at people for about five minutes but still manages second billing and his face on the poster) and the eponymous Hunter Killer sub. There, those expecting Butler to embark on another punch-and-shootathon might be pleasantly surprised, especially as his character, Joe Glass, has an off-the-shelf action hero name. Here, he doesn’t even attempt to punch water, instead leaving the physical stuff to Stephens and his squad, and dialling it down, preferring to hit stoic and dependable notes, rather than reprise his tub-thumper from 300. There’s also pleasure to be had from an unexpected relationship with a Russian submarine commander, played sympathetically by Michael Nyqvist in his last role.

As things escalate, no submarine movie cliché is left unturned, and it can’t help but suffer in comparison to Crimson Tide, but this is surprisingly solid and occasionally even suspenseful stuff. And a lovely reminder, too, of the simple joys to be had from watching actors pretending to be in a tin can, watching a computer screen, and waiting for the optimum moment to shout, “Dive! Dive! Dive!”

A better-than-expected entry in the all-too-often neglected sub sub-genre, with Butler showing impressive restraint.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us