|K-19 The Widowmaker|
Bigelow brings her usual visual skills to bear on this massive production, and it looks terrific. The design is superb, creating a setting we believe in while underplaying the effects nicely (besides a few too many sweeping digital zooms). Klaus Badelt's soaring score helps set the tone. And the performances are excellent, drawing us in with little details and interesting internal conflicts that let us overlook the faint Rooskie accents. Ford and Neeson lock horns wonderfully, while Sarsgaard effectively takes us through the entire gamut of cowardice and bravery as the ship's inexperienced reactor specialist. There are fine moments of teamwork--both lighthearted camaraderie and terrifying solidarity. And issues of leadership and heroism are examined from intriguing angles, if we can be bothered to look that deeply. While it's unfathomably better than the trite, distorted U-571, the film still has problems with its own self-importance. Most notably in the long running time, which is strongly felt during the dull centre section, followed by another terrifying crisis and more than one sappy "captain my captain" moment (one of which actually features that line) and an unnecessary epilogue. But never mind, this is still a gripping, intelligent blockbuster.
dir Kathryn Bigelow|
scr Christopher Kyle
with Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Donald Sumpter, Christian Camargo, Ravil Isyanov, Steve Nicolson, JJ Feild, James Ginty, Sam Spruell, Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson, Joss Ackland
release US 19.Jul.02; UK 25.Oct.02
A few good men. Captain Vostrikov pushes his crew to heroism! (Sarsgaard, Ford, Ginty and Isyanov)
|"This is one of the very best movies I have ever seen. It has compassion, hatred, cowards, heros, bravery, everything you could ever want in a movie. Plus James Ginty!" --Rachael, USA 14.Jan.03|