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A surprisingly fun throwback to Cold War thrillers.
Despite the good stuff, though, Hunter Killer doesn’t ever really justify its existence. Conceived in 2011, viewing it through any other lens than today’s political climate is impossible.
Chris Hewitt (1)
A better-than-expected entry in the all-too-often neglected sub sub-genre, with Butler showing impressive restraint.
Hunter Killer needs its radar calibrated, because while it bounces between serious and silly, it never quite finds a suitable place to land.
Toning down his usual act in a manner that suggests he’s finally read his reviews, Butler gives it handfuls of dramatic ballast, but this vessel has been badly compromised: any interest seeps out by the frame.
Hunter Killer conjures up whiffs of entertainment value from its shameless but spirited derivativeness.
The film is a second-rate airport thriller that makes The Hunt for Red October seem like nonfiction by comparison.
Even among Gerard Butler vehicles, this one sinks right to the bottom.
Hunter Killer has good enough actors, but it never figures out what to do with them. They’re stuck in an underwater vacuum, a submarine movie that submerges anything of interest.
The pacing seems intentionally designed to break your spirits, with a climactic set-piece that rages on forever, despite being comprised of nothing but shouting and torpedos. It makes Crimson Tide looks like a masterclass in international relations.
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