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

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

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.