Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, David Threlfall
A submarine captain (Jude Law) assembles a crew of ex-Naval experts to take on a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a WWII submarine rumored to be loaded with gold. As the crew gets closer to newfound wealth and possible acclaim, their dark sides begin to take hold.
I don’t know what to make of Jude Law’s accent. It doesn’t feel authentic to any country; it’s thick in places and becomes a distraction at the most inopportune times.
This is a complaint that may come off as inane or out of left field, but this is a movie about a man ignoring what’s clearly in front of him in service to the loud dissenters of his life that he continues to hold a grudge against. Those dissenters are the thick, foggy accent of the movie that is his life.
Law plays Robinson: a stern-faced, curmudgeon who’s pushed his family away due to his love of the sea only to be fired by his salvage job. As Robinson ponders his new reality away from the sea and what’s left for him after he’s lost everything, an opportunity comes his way in the form of possible sunken treasure. A Nazi U-boat is purported to be at the bottom of the Black Sea with hundreds of millions in gold inside of it. The adventure is a seemingly good opportunity for Robinson to make enough money to comfortably retire but really it’s about Robinson proving himself still useful.
He assembles a ragtag group of unemployed seamen happy to just be working again, as well as a young man who has friends with a former associate and a shifty, corporate stooge partner of the shadowy group that’s funding the journey.
This is a movie about greed and cabin fever. A group of men together in a claustrophobic space thinking about possible millions and how much they really trust each other. It’s also an action movie so these things are plot devices to get these people to harm each other and openly contemplate who they think they may need to harm next.
It’s not the the movie is incoherent, it’s that instead of stretching one story, it shifts to different perspectives. One minute you think it’s a movie about men who’ll kill each other to keep all the gold for themselves; the next it’s a film about men banding together to stay alive. When the smoke clears though, it’s a film about this captain feeling slighted by the world; inadequate and disrespected by both his employers and his family. The money is a tool to vindicate himself and this desire affects everyone.
As an action movie, it’s thrilling enough and the actors–while not adding anything to the film–don’t get in the way of the story. The action delivers plenty which is good because the themes are so secondary that they don’t even click with you until you’re well into the film. By that point you just want to know where this is going.
It’s a serviceable action movie about a reheated subject; even leftovers are still good the next day.
Black Sea opens today in select theaters.