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Overall Rating
3.01

Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look43.68%
Average: 8.05%
Pretty Bad: 12.64%
Total Crap: 25.29%

14 reviews, 90 user ratings


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U-571
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by Chris Parry

"If you're gonna rip off a movie, Das Boot is a hell of a movie to rip off."
4 stars

Let's get the obvious stuff right out of the way early on. U-571 rips off the German submarine masterpiece, Das Boot, in every way imaginable and guarantees that anyone who has seen the earlier film will poo-poo this one all the way to the exit door, but you know what? U-571 doesn't care. Go on, tease it. Make fun of it. Poke it with sticks. Call it stupid. Put 'kick me' signs on it's back. Do that thing where you get down on your hands and knees behind it and one of your friends pushes it over you. Call it 'gay'. It won't rise to the bait. It sucks, it knows it, and in the meantime it throws a few big bangs, some famous faces and a teensy bit of suspense your way in the hope some of it will stick. And, bugger me, some of it does.

I have nothing against the Bruckheimer's of this world taking seriously awesome foreign classics, ripping the best bits out of them and filling the holes with that biodegradable polystyrene filler that your idiot cousins shove down their throat while yelling, "Look! You can eat it! Try some!" If Hollywood didn't have foreigners to rip off, we'd never have had Kurosawa's Japanese classic 'Seven Samurai' turned into The Magnificent Seven or A Bug's Life. We'd never have seen Clint Eastwood turn Kurosawa's Sanjuro into A Fist Full Of Dollars. Tarantino would never have had the chance to rip-off old French gangster films. Robert Rodriguez would never have had the chance to double-dip on El Mariachi and put out Desperado. Hell, 80% of the Hollywood action films since 1985 wouldn't have had Hong Kong to steal storylines from.

Would this have left us better off? Would we have been happier? Would that parking ticket magically disappear? Would your ex-girlfriend suddenly start calling again? Would crackheads stop having babies in gutters? Would you be prettier?

No! Dammit, no I say.

Okay, we had to endure the American version of La Femme Nikita, the dubbed version of Life Is Beautiful, subtitles on Trainspotting, phrase books being handed out before The Full Monty and the Americanisation of the British TV classic Men Behaving Badly, but... like... bah, who frickin' asked you anyway?

U-571 is a submarine movie. You can pretty much write the rest of the review yourself. Yankees meet Germans, Yankees take German sub with secret code machine, Germans come a-lookin' for their stuff, drop some depth charges overboard as the machine that goes 'bing' goes 'bing'. Close call, close call, perilous problem, water floods in, folks die, bigger problems coming, torpedos away, more problems, wacky solution that's so wacky it might just work, big finish.

But as much as I looooooooooooove to dismiss no-brainers such as this, I can't dismiss U-571 so easily. See, it's actually okay. No, don't throw your rocks yet, it's no masterpiece at all, but it did have the sheep baying in unison in the theatre I attended to see it. You know the sheep, they go to every action film and won't see anything with subtitles or actors they haven't seen accept awards or release an album. They went and, a little like the astounded crowd of Three Kings, they didn't expect something that built up a slow roll. They thought 'bang, crack, action-pack', but U-571 is more a 'softly, softly catchy monkey' than a 'bang, crack, action-pack'. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

The cast are all on holidays. McConnaughey growls throughout. Never smiles, never cracks a grin. He's trying to be Clint with a better ass (my sister's words, not mine). Harvey Keitel could just as easily have been Jim Varney for all the emoting he bothered with. Still, it's a step up from Holy Smoke for Harv' (no more red frocks, man). Jon Bon Jovi.. well, sorry folks, I didn't realise he was in it until the credits rolled and I refuse to look up who he was playing. I just don't wanna know.

But hey, Bill Paxton dies early. Bung on three stars for that.

It got me. I was into it. I knew it was horseshite, I knew it was playing reindeer games with the facts of the war, I knew it was shamelessly ripping off a better movie, but I was into it. Especially when Bill Paxton bit the dick. Then I was REALLY into it.

So yeah, as far as Hollywoodisations go I have to admit I liked this film more than I wanted to. The explosions were grandiose, the machine that goes 'bing' is always the good shit and it ended just when my bladder reached 'lavvy time'. But jokes aside, I beg of thee, see this movie, enjoy what you can enjoy of it, then go rent a little German movie called Das Boot. Rent the director's cut. It will seriously peel strips off your brain. Seriously.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1812&reviewer=1
originally posted: 04/23/00 23:38:48
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User Comments

8/16/12 Ding Dong Awesome actioner with good production values. Who cares about accuracy. 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
6/18/07 al smith fucking shit it was the brits who got the enigma not the fucking yanks 1 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK America did a lot in the war. But the way some directors on its as if no-one else fought... 3 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini great action 4 stars
9/08/06 Thomas Semesky Nothing really exciting here. 3 stars
6/11/06 Dave Webber Nice little drama - if you don't take it too serious 4 stars
1/09/06 Steven Lewis Lots of goofs, it still has a strong message and a power fictional story. Great film. 3 stars
6/10/05 JD Distorting history for this lame movie, they should be so proud. 1 stars
4/25/05 Quigley an awesome story with suspenseful action. I'll never enter a sub, and that's OK with me 5 stars
8/28/04 Aaron Smith best sub movie I've seen 4 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva wanted more story 3 stars
5/22/04 Monster W. Kung I piss on this movie. 1 stars
5/22/04 Idiot's Mouth This reviewer seems to be saying he WANTS McCaunaghey to try a British accent. ? . ?. 1 stars
12/08/03 john I hate to agree with an antisemitic moron but this movie just badly ripps off DAS BOOT 1 stars
12/04/03 tom MAy not be historically accurate but good movie!! 4 stars
8/28/03 Ameray Coland This move is FALSE about ENIGMA History. Jewish David Ayer do NOT KNOW history !!! 1 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Predictable, but it works. 3 stars
3/21/03 May Q. Horney Decent Submarine movie, not as good as CRIMSON TIDE or K-19 THE WIDOWMAKER. 4 stars
2/26/03 y2mckay nothing special, but an enjoyable sub action flick. It ain't DAS BOOT, but what is? 4 stars
2/16/03 Angolmois Shamelessly rips off both history and other sub-movies. A bit better than a lobotomy. 1 stars
1/04/03 freewaygl great testerone flick for women who like men in action!~! Yah! 4 stars
12/02/02 R.W. Welch Good actioner though somewhat overblown and historically inaccurate 3 stars
10/27/02 Ollie Charles The best movie so far since Schindler's List 5 stars
7/26/02 Cizin IthoughtitwasCanadianswhocaputerdthesubbutwewereunderbritiansruleatthetimeright 4 stars
7/01/02 Fredrik One of the very best WWII-films ever!!! 5 stars
4/30/02 Monster W. Kung Sucks. 1 stars
4/24/02 Charles Tatum Clicheed but enjoyable. 4 stars
4/09/02 Plexo movie blew monkey nuts. Writers apear to have been retarded. 1 stars
4/01/02 Marcus Did anyone else fight in WW2? So much for the true heros of the Royal Navy & the truth... 1 stars
2/21/02 Nevz Yet another example of the Yanks trying to rewrite history 1 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Quite clever. Nice special effects. 4 stars
11/27/01 sdfr kick ass! 4 stars
11/27/01 Jake Intense and thrilling. 5 stars
8/28/01 Phil M. Afficianado Not bad, really, but don't you get tired of the same chaotic scene 10 times over? Skip it. 3 stars
8/08/01 badfish Excellent,great story,great picture,awesome sound. 5 stars
7/31/01 Matthew Bartley No suspense, no accuracy...no anything 1 stars
7/04/01 Piz Ultimate guy flick complete with load bangs, action, and underdog rooting 4 stars
6/08/01 Peter Brook Good sense of timing from Mostow, nice special FX, it's a very predictable story, though. 4 stars
6/07/01 destney you are awsome not you suck 5 stars
6/02/01 sabrinacardin she thinksyour cool 2 stars
5/28/01 Dean Like Hollywood didn't insult the UK enough with The Patriot. This movie is pure feces. 1 stars
3/26/01 Big Blackie Fuckin' cool movie!! Depth changes were awesome! A must see!! 5 stars
3/13/01 Stuart Wright Is it just make up history time. Shall britain make a film saying we droped the atom bomb. 1 stars
2/25/01 jeroen Saw it yesterday......it's about boots or somethin,isn't it? 1 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Suspense,action, depth charges, what a great sub. film. 4 stars
2/02/01 Matthew Bartley Think I'll make a film about the first moon landings starring Hugh Grant and Jude Law... 1 stars
1/23/01 scorekeeper Great movie, but can be very confusing. 4 stars
1/09/01 Jessica it was sooo good. Matthew McConaughey is do fucking hot!! 5 stars
12/10/00 BrittenysPears I wasen't looking for a history lesson here - the movie is very entertaining!!! 5 stars
12/01/00 Winston Churchill You know it was the U.K. who retrieved the Engima? This was like a bad A-Team adventure! 1 stars
11/20/00 Nick Exciting, Suspenseful, Rent it You wont' regret it 5 stars
11/06/00 Dave Great movie! McConauhey gives an exceptional performance 5 stars
10/19/00 Gremlin Kick ass movie, ther were a few parts that were a little fucked up but over all very neato 5 stars
10/17/00 Jack Laller great movie 5 stars
10/12/00 Monday Morning So you like "made in El-Kabong Hong Kong" action flicks better? This is great. 5 stars
8/15/00 Chickiepoo Long live Jon Bon Jovi!! Too bad he ws in this waste of film. Stoners SUCK! 1 stars
7/18/00 Matthew Bartley The USA did steal an enigma-but not until 3 years after the film! Utter shite 1 stars
7/11/00 pancreas great movie, i docked it one star because there were no naked chicks 4 stars
5/22/00 Obi Wan Defn8ly a guy flik!! Action,shit blowin' up, death...what more could you want? 4 stars
5/21/00 gwalla Top-notch suspense.The USA stole an Enigma too. So it's not 100% accurate, it's fiction!!! 5 stars
5/20/00 Steve Kelley I'm a guy. Bombs, water, fear, heroism, loudness. The formula works for a reason. 4 stars
5/14/00 JJF Falsifies history without batting an eyelid. Don't support this crap. 1 stars
5/13/00 Add It shits on the good soilders who died for our freedom. I urge u not to c this! 1 stars
5/10/00 Travis good action, predictable story 4 stars
5/05/00 tony just wanted more at the ending. there wasnt enough closure. 4 stars
4/30/00 Heather Another titanic movie that pisses around with the truth 1 stars
4/29/00 Ayesha Cross Regardless who actually happened, America always won the war - what bullshit! 1 stars
4/26/00 Matthew Bartley Fucking disgusting. This was a British operation it was 7 months later when USA entered war 1 stars
4/26/00 Marcus West Does abyone care for historical facts in this BS of a movie? 1 stars
4/26/00 XT Wanna see this one on DVD. Maybe it'll make a li'l more sense. Very interesting, though. 4 stars
4/25/00 PhilmPhreak A bit obvious, but damn good - excellent sound! 4 stars
4/25/00 Captain Highcrime Good for action but don't be basing any college history papers on this one. 4 stars
4/25/00 Matt Sabian Excellent!!!! A Das Boot contender! 5 stars
4/25/00 Maclay01 85db volume required the director - the theatres listened and the audience covered our ears 4 stars
4/25/00 Obi Wan Best flick I've seen in a awhile...it did entertain and had it's moments. Worth admission 4 stars
4/25/00 bobber Not a bad movie, but didn't know who Jon Bon Jovi was either. 4 stars
4/24/00 Negative Much better than given credit for. That says alot. Good film. 4 stars
4/24/00 Kevin Cho, movie-buff Absolutely NO character development - everything else was ripped off. POOR. 2 stars
4/24/00 Becky Read the book. All the heart and humor was cut out with Pete Emment's lines (Jon Bon Jovi). 3 stars
4/23/00 Matt It kept me in suspense. The acting was a little wooden at times, but overall it was good. 4 stars
4/23/00 Gavin Moore Any good American will love this, a throwback to 80's action films 4 stars
4/23/00 photogeek did they steal actual footage from Das Boot and make it suck? 2 stars
4/23/00 Z hey, it's more realistic than mission 2 mars... 4 stars
4/22/00 Matt Sabian Brilliant film, perfectly brought to life. End was a bit disappointing 5 stars
4/22/00 Joel Harwood is in tha house the peeps have spoken 1 stars
4/21/00 Joel Harwood Action with a predictable ending but what movie isn't 4 stars
4/21/00 Danny Sykes Predictable at times. Good twists in the plot 4 stars
4/18/00 Tony D'Amoto Pretty good action movie 4 stars
4/18/00 cofemug I laughed and laughed at the overall bad quality of the movie. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2000

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Apr-2000 (M)




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