Crimson Tide

"Very Good"

Crimson Tide Review


The Cold War may be over, but it lives on through films like Crimson Tide.

Crimson Tide is a new action/psychodrama about a mutiny aboard a U.S. nuclear submarine. When World War III is about to erupt thanks to Russian coup-artists, the USS Alabama, helmed by Captain Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) is sent to prepare for the worst. When the order to launch comes in, Ramsey's executive officer, Lt. Commander Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington), clashes with the Captain over a last-minute, incomplete order which could recall the missile launch. The result is mutiny, with half the ship siding with the Captain's single-minded, stubborn decision to fire, half standing with Hunter, who wants a confirmation before blowing up the world.

Sound thrilling? Well, after about 45 minutes of the two principals philosophizing about life and war, trading quips, and smoking cigars, then the action part of the film comes to life. Unfortunately, this prologue does little more than develop the characters like this: Captain Ramsey is a obstinate military man, Hunter is a thoughtful peace-lover. In fact, most of the lengthy dialogue is arranged to show just what a great guy Hunter is, and that Ramsey is on the verge of being a Captain Ahab, hunting the Russkies like they're a latter-day Moby Dick.

When the action sequences do finally come up, they start with a nonsensical galley fire (no one can put it out except Hunter, who--get this--actually pushes a button on the wall to save the day). Then there's a flooding bilge bay, and on this ultra-high-tech ship, the preferred tool for repairing a flooding sub is none other than a monkey wrench. When the radio breaks, the crew is fast at work soldering together enough wire and circuit boards to control the U.S. telephone system. All this talk about the film making the military look bad isn't quite right; instead, it just looks ridiculous.

This all may be quibbling, but the pure silliness of some of the film really detracts from the bulk of it, which is a gripping and tense thriller with two armed factions of men trying to either launch or stop the launch of ten of the Alabama's nuclear missiles. The chemistry between Hackman and Washington, while kept basically predictable, is still full of tension and repressed anger as the characters are forced to maintain a surface civility despite an obvious dislike underneath. The set constructed to recreate the USS Alabama and the sub combat scenes are incredibly realistic and make the film worth watching all by themselves.

Much has been made of the similarity between this film and movies like The Hunt for Red October, Top Gun (directed and produced by the same team that did Tide), and other genre pictures. While the inevitable similarities are apparent to some extent, they certainly don't overshadow the picture, and like the flaws discussed above, they don't keep Crimson Tide from being a worthwhile film.

The new unrated, extended edition is (of course) much longer, but also a much richer film. The DVD also inludes deleted scenes and two making-of featurettes.



Crimson Tide

Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th May 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $157.4M

Budget: $55M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Internationa

Production compaines: Hollywood Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Captain Frank Ramsey, as Lt. Commander Ron Hunter, as Lt. Peter 'WEAPS' Ince, as Lt. Bobby Dougherty, as Lt. Roy Zimmer, USS Alabama Communications Officer, as Chief of the Boat, as Lt. Darik Westergaurd, Jaime Gomez as Officer of the Deck Mahoney, as Chief of the Watch Hunsicker, Scott Burkholder as T.S.O. Billy Linkletter, as Petty Officer First Class Danny Rivetti, as Petty Officer Third Class Russell Vossler, Eric Bruskotter as Bennefield, as Lt. Paul Hellerman, as William Barnes, as Lawson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Advertisement
Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.