Das Boot

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 02/20/99 18:43:57

"Every year needs three films this good to justify itself."
5 stars (Awesome)

One of the greatest war movies seen in the last twenty years has a big ass director's cut, and it's one hell of a trip.

Wolfgang Peterson's breakout film was humungous in 1982, earning six academy award nominations, including best picture and best director. Since then, Peterson has become yet another studio monkey, churning out flicks like Air Force One, but forget that. Go back 18 years in time and find Das Boot. It is truly a stunning film.

All too often, submarine movies were glamorized affairs. Everyone comfortable, everyone studly, and always winning out in the end. The reality was that barely 10,000 out of 50,000 German U-Boat men actually lived to tell about it. When the U-Boat first came out, it was the ultimate weapon. Unable to be spotted, they killed without being seen.

But the Brits managed to figure out sonar detection, and pretty soon the U-Boats became sitting ducks. Inside the subs, there's nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, just sit and wait for the depth charges to rip you apart.

Starring Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer and Klaus Wenneman, the story is about the crew. Living like sardines, going stir crazy, waiting for action, yet hoping it never comes. Starving. Suffocating. Plugging holes in the walls. Being sent into certain death by commanders who could care less. Hunting. Being hunted. Being shelled. Being killed.

Let's face it, kids. This isn't a feel good film. It's a Schindlers List, but from the other side. It's realistic to the point of depression. It's how the other half lived. It's how the other half died. And it kicks all historic ass.

© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.