Crimson Tide

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 11/04/98 00:27:55

"You know how much of a guy flick this is? There's no women in it."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Nobody plays a black man with a chip on his shoulder like Denzel. And nobody plays a white man with a chip on his shoulder like Gene Hackman. Put them both together and what do you have?

CHiPs? No. That's what you get when you mix a latino man with huge teeth and a white guy with trailer park hair..

No, when you mix Denzel and Gene you get a movie full of close ups, a bit of shouting, a lot of posturing, a dog, a submarine, Russians, guns, runaway nukes and saluting.

Not necessarily in that order.

So Crimson Tide, in case my cryptic beginning hasn't allowed you to figure it out, is just such a film.

Big submarine. Gene is the Captain of said sub. A hard assed skipper from the old school. On board comes Denzel, a college trained expert in blah blah sent out to keep an eye on proceedings.

Oh, that whacky coyote Gene. His methods are a liiiiiiittle eccentric and when the Russians lose a nuke (cos they always do, just ask George Clooney) to rebels who threaten to turn Times Square and lower Alberquerue into honey-nut cheerios, well that zany Captain is all guns n guts.

An emergency note is sent to the sub, commanding the firing of nukes at the rebels, in order to save the USA. Captain Loopy springs into action. Fire! Fire!

But hark! Radio signals are cut off just as an another emergency message is coming in! Was it an order to fire? Was it an order to halt? Was it an order of three pepperoni pizzas, french fries and a coke? (I think you'd get the half hour freebie being two hunderd feet underwater. Deliver this, pizza boy!)

Denzel says nobody wins a nuclear war. Gene says an order is an order unless it is rescinded and a partial message is no message.

Mutiny! Backstabbing! Huffing! One set! A dog!

All the ingredients are here for a thoroughly enjoyable guy-flick.

Oh yes, she won't be flicking off the bra straps after this one, lads. It's the movie you see when you're single, alone, not expecting company and wearing the track pants you never leave the house in.

But it is a good movie. It's fun to watch. It's very back and forth, the principal actors can sure as hell deliver the lines they're given, but it lacks enough substance to really be a classic.

Recall how Contact spent way too much time dwelling on theory and details, and then explained everything ad nauseum for the helmeted ones in the audience?

This one goes the other way. Concepts aren't really explored fully, or virulently enough. Both sides assume you know what they mean and don't launch into the full on scathing vocal battles that A Few Good Men does.

It tried, it didn't suck, but really it wasn't much more than posturing and advanced claustraphobia.

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