Monday, February 9, 2015

[Review] Black Sea

After the lingering of Oscar films and trickling of January stinkers, February usually takes a rough dive on the cinema calendar. But here we find Black Sea, a well-crafted submarine thriller. The film's marketing has been relatively under-the-radar, but you should seek it out of it's your thing. 

The premise is fairly straightforward--After getting fired from his career as a submarine pilot, Robinson (Jude Law) learns of the possible existence of a gold-carrying German U-boat that sunk to the bottom of the sea. So, he invests in a rust bucket submarine and recruits a crew of crusty British and Russian sailors to set out on the mission. Each man gets an equal share of the goods. But you know how these things go--there's a good chance that not everyone will be there in the end.

What ensues is a sweaty mixture of claustrophobic drama and high-stakes thrills. More than a few scenes will make you hold your breath. Jude Law gives a solid performance at the helm. It seems that the thinner his balding hair strip gets, the grittier his roles get. Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom, The Place Beyond The Pines, Starred Up) has definitely established a type, but he wields another unhinged turn here. Newcomer Bobby Schofield (the young'un of the vessel) is impressive as well.

Be prepared for some eerie ocean-bottom sequences and a grip-full of lines that are exactly the type of dialogue you'd like to hear in a film like this. Black Sea proves to be thoroughly engrossing. It isn't perfect, but it's worth the plunge.


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