Black Sea (Film Review)

black sea


One of the more oddly-specific genres in film history is the submarine thriller. Almost always playing on the themes of claustrophobia, trust, and the relentless pursuit of Germans, Soviets, or something belonging to them, it’s very hard to follow in the footsteps of Das Boot or The Hunt for Red October and not tread familiar ground. While Black Sea is often quite enjoyable to watch, it fails to break any new ground in the subgenre, all the while being bogged down by a laborious and obvious screenplay.

The film follows a ragtag team (half British, half Russian) of submariners and divers who have frustratingly seen their jobs become superfluous in the 21st century. When they hear about a Nazi U-boat filled with gold and sunk at the bottom of the Black Sea, they hatch a plan to covertly go down to the depths and claim the gold before either the Russian government or their greedy ex-employers recover it. Led by the crusty Captain Robinson (Jude Law in a thick Aberdeen accent), tensions between the Brits and the Russians erupt underwater over the tantalizing “equal shares for every man” policy implemented at the beginning of the voyage. Each man begins to realize that their respective share will increase if there are fewer people with whom to split the treasure.

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