User Reviews (16)

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  • Reading some of the bad reviews, I wasn't expecting much, but I surprisingly really enjoyed it. My dubbed version wasn't that great, with some voice-overs being ridiculously over the top, and I wasn't a fan of the loud Star Wars type score, but for a Belgium-made film, it was pretty epic.

    For starters, this was writer and director Sven Huybrechts' (and writer Johan Horemans') first full length feature film, with only one prior short and one TV show on their resumes, and they did not disappoint, especially since they are new and unheard of filmmakers.

    It's refreshing to see a non-Hollywood blockbuster film of this caliber. I'm shocked at the low rating and some of the wannabe critics negative reviews, like "another submarine movie" - then don't watch it! Do you also say "another cop movie" lol? Then the other reviewer "Too many errors...." because of a bazooka lol. This isn't a documentary smh, it's entertainment that 'touches' on a historical event. Another reviewer nailed it... "The Belgian Inglorious Bastards". There was comedy, suspense, action, romance and drama... what more could you ask for? The best part was it wasn't Hollywood-ed with all the main characters living through the impossible - there were losses.

    The runtime was just right, perfect pacing and excellent cinematography and editing. I highly recommend this film, especially if you're a fan of submarine-type films. It's a well deserved and honest 8/10 from me. To see more of my 1000+ ratings and 900+ reviews, click on my username.
  • I'm sure people will enjoy this movie. It's like having that kinda cocktail, bittersweet with a taste of lemon. All ingredients are there: humor, sadness, action, drama and a slice of horror.

    Is it Oscar worthy? No, but it was never made to be a big pricewinner. It was made for those who appreciate and enjoy a movie without expecting deep Shakespearian dialogues. For people that just want to leave the cinema, having a had a good time.

    Koen De Bouw remains one of Belgians finest.

    Overall, taking into account the limited budget I'd give it a 7/10.
  • Not sure if this was meant a parodie, or if it's just a... low budget, bad acted, historically inaccurate, lousy dubbed, flimsy special effect., loaded with the usual idiosyncrasies and characters of the genre... attempt to a war movie. Still if you're bored and you have nothing better to do and you don't have to pay 15 bucks for a ticket and stream it at home on a lazy Sunday morning from your couch, it's entertaining enough to waste 100 minutes of your life... No idea why it gets this high rating on IMDB, (famous for the ratings) but why the hell not... I can't give it more than a 5, cause I wasn't alone on the couch.
  • Outside of the mediocre dubbing, this is a typical submarine flick... which is not a bad thing. Pretty much keeps you on the edge of your seat most of the way. No surprises, but well done. It gave a real feel for the confinement inside an old submarine. Considering that the action was right on, there was, perhaps, a bit more character development than actually needed. Did we need to know that one of the crew did not like blacks? Didn't really impact the plot in any way. The improbability factor got a bit high in places, and the (first) ending was a bit "we ran out of money" ish, but overall very well done.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I enjoy historical war dramas - which from the outset this 'appears' to be. I have no problems with things taking liberties historically to move a story along, but this movie takes on all sorts of Hollywood tropes that even Hollywood has shied away from over the years... at points I felt like I was watching a comedy try to be a serious movie.

    For one, the sole basis for the plot of Belgian resistance fighters delivering uranium to the US isn't a feasible plot. The US mined their own uranium and also had an ally in Canada to provide it as well. There was no need for Belgium to supply this for any reason.

    Why they have to venture to Africa to pick up a stolen U-boat to make the delivery isn't made clear. This would be feasible if they had to visit a uranium producing country first, but they don't. Instead they go through a crash course for a few days of how to operate a U-boat at the hands of a former U-boat captain.

    When they finally get into the submarine, mysteriously one of the characters knows how to detect for torpedoes, enemy ships and enemy submarines. It takes years of training for submariners to even become qualified to sail, let alone operate their individual stations.

    When a torpedo slips out of its winch and falls on a crew's legs, thereby crushing his legs below the knees, he mysteriously stays conscious the entire time. Furthermore, he doesn't almost immediately bleed to death - which seems infeasible when you consider your femoral artery runs down your legs and would have you bleed to death within minutes if severed.

    They only tournaquet his legs when they go to amputate them. Of course, this is also laughable because the whole time a fellow crewman is plying the amputee to be with alcohol - which thins the blood and could also have him bleed to death. They don't even use the whisky to disinfect the wound! This whole series of scenes is laughable.

    When the Germans come aboard to visit, they don't salute. Instead of being treated and helped aboard the sub on deck, they somehow managed to board the vessel in the midst of heavy swells... Not to mention they just let themselves in and climb on down.

    Despite none of the crew being in regulation German Navy uniforms - which would be the order given when visitors boarded their sub, no questions are asked of the faux submariners. When it all goes south and the faux submariners are detected, people are shooting at each other in a submarine with an abandon - also an unlikely event for the time because the bullets could pierce the hull!

    Once the German officers are killed, a Belgian resistance fighter uses a sniper rifle to shoot through a German enemy ship's main gun bore and it all somehow just magically goes ka-boom! The sniper does this in the midst of severe ocean swells, during a heavy rain storm and visible droplets of water on her scope. It's just far too convenient and lazy writing.

    When this happens, the German ship rams the u-boat and runs over them as they dive, instead of using one of her functional guns or depth charges to destroy the sub. It's explicitly stated in the dialogue that this was a German destroyer class ship, so it would have had jmore than just the one gun and definitely been equipped for anti-submarine warfare in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But hey, that doesn't make for good cinema, now does it?!

    That all said, the German destroyer manages to sink the U-boat. This is perhaps the most realistic and well shot portion of the movie, until of course one of the submariners decides to get into a torpedo tube and be shot out into 150+ metres of the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to save his daughter drowning from another compartment in the sub. Not only does he manage to do this without any air supply, he doesn't end up being crushed to death fronme the pressure end up with hypothermia, manage to drown, or even end up with the bends when he comes back (with his daughter of course) to a pressurized compartment.

    There's just far too many liberties taken in this move to make it believable. It tries to present itself as a historical drama, but it goes through far too many movie conveniences to make it enjoyable. If you don't mind completely turning your eyes away from glaring plot holes, historical and physically impossible feats, then by all means dig in. Das Boot this is not. A definite opportunity missed.
  • Greetings again from the darkness. "Desperate times, desperate measures" is a phrase that dates back to ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (he of the Hippocratic Oath), and has been applied in many and varied situations since ... war strategy being one of the most common. We hear the phrase a couple of times in the War Room during an early scene in the feature film directorial debut of writer-director Sven Huybrechts submarine movie. The term "submarine movie" is used with the utmost respect, as I'm a huge fan of the sub-genre.

    Opening with a well-orchestrated attack on Nazi soldiers, we are soon in the midst of a group of resistance fighters - a rag tag bunch committed to wiping out as many Nazis as possible. In the War Room scene, this group is referred to as "The Bad Eggs", and everyone from all sides seems to want them stopped. However, there is a problem - this group is made up of the only ones crazy enough to accept the current 'suicide' mission: delivering a Uranium filled submarine from the Belgian Congo to the United States, where the cargo will be used for the Manhattan Project.

    The cast is excellent, led by the ongoing conflict between two outstanding and renowned leads: Belgian actor Koen De Bouw as Nazi-hater Stan, and German actor Thure Riefenstein as captured U-Boat Captain Franz Jager. Co-writers Huybrechts and Johan Horemans effectively use the dangers and claustrophobia of the submarine, and are truly expert in their pitting Stan against Jager. Stan's beautiful (and sharpshooter) daughter Nadine (Ella-June Henrard) is also on the mission, but it's Stan's tragic backstory (which we see in tension-filled flashbacks) that have filled him with a lust for revenge and over-protectiveness.

    Training for submarine crews typically lasts a year, and this group of misfits has only three weeks to prepare. Some of the early soundtrack reminds of the iconic Elmer Bernstein theme to THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, which comes across a bit misplaced, but that's a minor quibble for a film that gets most everything else right - except for a too-good-to-be-true sequence near the end. Along the way, we see vivid images of the brutality and cruelty of Nazis, which helps us understand why all of these folks are so committed to the mission.

    Working with a low budget, the film still manages to deliver the danger and tense situations we expect from a submarine during WWII. There is even a sub vs sub battle for some underwater action. The lineup of other worthy submarine movies over the years include: Jules Verne's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954), THE ENEMY BELOW (1957) with Robert Mitchum, RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP (1958) with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, ICE STATION ZEBRA (1968) based on the Alistair MacLean novel, the nerve-rattling DAS BOOT (1981) from Werner Herzog, THE ABYSS (1989) from James Cameron, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990) from Tom Clancy's novel starring Sean Connery, CRIMSON TIDE (1995) pitting Denzel Washington against Gene Hackman, U-571 (2000) with the great Thomas Kretschmann, and BLACK SEA (2014) with Jude Law. And let's not forget the 1968 classic featuring The Beatles animated, YELLOW SUBMARIINE.

    This latest begins in 1941 and the final scene takes place on August 6, 1945. Huybrechts's film could be described as a cross between INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and DAS BOOT, and it includes plenty of material for conversation on race, religion, nationality, and duty.
  • I really enjoyed this film having the good mix of drama, thrill and comedy. Knowing the budget was limited they achieved a very good film. Cast and acting was very good. Of course there are inside and linguistic jokes for Belgians/Flemish to understand better, though this film is fair enough for an international public. There was good attention for authentic material, uniforms, weapons and props. When the film will be available on DVD/BD it will be added to my collection.
  • roal20 April 2020
    Right at the beginning of the movie, we see a bazooka which don't even EXIST at that time. Rest of the movie is as accurate as I said. Possibly entertaining but false from beginning to end.
  • I got interested after seeing a trailer. So I bought the movie. It's entertaining to watch the movie. Action all through the movie with some bits of humour and drama. The submarine details are great. Some events are however not technical realistic in real life (I will not spoil them). But in the end a nice entertaining movie from the creators and cast and definitely will watch it again.
  • Again a plot we seen dozens of times before, an uninteresting story, avarage acting and some worse. I din't get a real feeling of reality here and that made it a bit comic and sily at times. Not for me.
  • Enjoyed it from start to finish. Great acting and a whole bunch of very funny and absurd scenes.

    100% would recommend!
  • valerieschepens30 November 2019
    Talented actors and great cinematograpghy! First flemish war movie, i am proud!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The real story of U-235 would have been interesting enough to be told in cinema. Far from being a fan of Nazi-Deutshland, such Nazi bashing however is just awful to watch. It's true that U-235 shipped uranium 238 in1945 but from the German Third Reich on the way to Japan. The Americans seized the uranium, it might have been even used for the atomic bombs thrown onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki but the quantity itself was not even decisive. U-235 got destroyed by the US Navy during a manoeuvre in the Atlantic.
  • Interesting movie right from the start. Very real looking submarine action, good plot twists, interesting characters. Much better than I thought it would be. For sure worth a watch!
  • I found this film very enjoyable, It's not high budget and the dubbing is well dodgy in a lot of places. There is a slight smattering of the usual pc/woke plague that infests hollywood these days, but all in all well worth a watch.
  • Good watch. Robbed The Abyss of a scene but absolutely had me leaning forward & upright (edge of seat stuff) on multiple occasions. Can a guy exit a torpedo tube and swim for 3 or 4 minutes at 150m, I don't care frankly! Many excellent performances from relative unknowns (to the West). Like Hunt for Red October, Das Boot? This won't disappoint!