Hunter Killer

Hunter Killer

Amazon Film
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A spy thriller starring Gerard Butler, Hunter Killer sees him in search of a missing US submarine, missing in the arctic ocean...

Lurking at depth slinks machinations of destruction, and ghostly promises of security.

No, this isn’t what you get when casting Gerard Butler in a lead role – it’s submarines.

Some subjects elevate the material due to the baked in ingredients.

What Is The Plot Of Hunter Killer?

Hunter Killer, a dangerous-spy-political-thriller-with-submarines (trademark pending), is buoyed up by the bubbling safety cushion surrounding it.

Claustrophobic underwater action! The need for silence when enemies can even hear you tinkle! The terror of water cascading into a submerged metal coffin! It’s all there.

After communications are lost with a US sub that was tailing a Russian mark in Arctic waters, the USS Arkansas is dispatched to investigate.

Newly promoted Commander Joe Glass (Butler) is drafted in to lead the efforts. Yet as they slink away sight unseen the situation worsens up top.

With Navy SEALS dispatched to observe a nearby Russian navel, it isn’t long before tensions escalate dangerously.

Official Trailer

Is It Any Good?

The nuts and bolts of Hunter Killer will be familiar to those who enjoy The Hunt for Red October and Tom Clancy’s work.

In Butler though, there is less of the ‘fly in the ointment’ feel of a Jack Ryan type lead. This is a movie where everyone is in the military and no-one will question much.

Butler personifies his usual type of lead: super capable, assured, and rarely challenged.

Even if the characters rarely stand out (Hollywood really did seem to waste the late Michael Nyqvist, didn’t it?) there is a strong core to Hunter Killer that makes reliable cannon fodder.

The underwater cat and mouse is kept murky and tense, always ready to explode into a flurry of torpedoes and desperate evasive action.

All this is backed up with a secondary cast of Navy SEALS whose mission evolves into a stealth rescue. It is actually quite refreshing to have some good old grunts.

An armed squad in movies tend to get very quick one-note personality traits before asserting that they know better than the top brass.

In the SEALS (led by a gruff Toby Stephens) we have a more realistic angle: they get the job done without ever really knowing what’s going on.

When outside of the submarine or SEALS, Hunter Killer flounders. Gary Oldman struggles to make any impact in his scenes (which mostly consist of shouting about DEFCON levels) and the antagonistic Russian element (Michael Gor) is such a by-the-numbers coup attempt that there is no human face to the threat.

Yet Hunter Killer sneaks undetected under your defences. It is submarines and stealth combined with two superpowers teetering on the brink of war, after all.

As each scene propels into the next there is an undeniable sense of fun in watching events play out; Hunter Killer never fails to meet, if not exceed, your expectations.

Just because you’ve got your water wings on doesn’t mean you can’t still have a lovely time.

Words by Mike Record

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  • Exciting And Tense
  • Submarine Warfare
  • Refreshing SEALs Characters


  • Bland Main Cast
  • Lack Of Impact Of Antagonists
  • Never Elevates Above Better Contemporaries


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