Hunter Killer (4K Blu-ray) (2018)
|Year Of Production||2018|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Donovan Marsh|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Atmos 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Submarine movies have been a significant sub-genre of movies for a very long time including films like Das Boot, U-571, K-19 The Peacemaker, Black Sea and many more. Can this new production, Hunter Killer hope to create something new and different in this well trod area? Unfortunately, not really, but there is a solid action thriller here that is worth a watch. A good cast (mostly) helps to create a decent film directed by South African Donovan Marsh who does a workmanlike job. This film seems to have been a pet project of star Gerard Butler for many years. He is credited as a producer. It is based on a novel, Firing Point by Don Keith and George Wallace.
The story involves two submarines, one American and one Russian that are playing a game of cat and mouse in the cold northern waters off Russia. Both submarines are attacked, seemingly by an unknown third party. Back at the pentagon, Rear Admiral Fisk (Common) alerts the Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Donergan (Gary Oldman) who starts to prepare for war as they feel their submarine has been sunk by the Russians. They decide to investigate further by sending in another submarine, USS Arkansas to look for the downed American sub. Arkansas' Captain has just changed to a new commander who has risen up from the ranks, Joe Glass (Gerard Butler). When they arrive in the Arctic waters they discover the downed US submarine and the Russian one. The Russian sub has not been completely sunk and they rescue the captain, Andropov (Michael Nyquist) and a few of his crew from a still sealed compartment of the submarine. They are then attacked by another submarine hiding under the ice. Meanwhile, NSA analyst, Jayne Norquist (Linda Cardellini) has asked Fisk to send a seal team, led by Bill Beaman (Toby Stephens) into Russia to investigate what is going on at a nearby Russian naval base. What they find indicates that a rogue element of the Russian armed forces is attempting a coup to remove Russian President, Zakarin and the submarine incidents have been designed to provide a smoke screen. Can Joe Glass and his crew rescue the Russian President and stop World War III?
This is a competent action thriller, however it attempts to cover too many stories and the chopping backwards and forwards means that tension is lost. The submarine scenes are generally full of tension but then they are interrupted by on-land scenes with the Navy Seals or with Pentagon based scenes. This disrupts the flow and also makes the film a little long at just over 2 hours. There are also some sequences in the first act which are thick with dialogue rather than action or tension building activity. Some other elements that reduce the effectiveness of the film are some dodgy looking CGI elements especially in Ultra HD, some of the support actors such as Carter Macintyre make Gerard Butler look like Laurence Olivier and the very generic score does not aid the building of tension. None of this means the film is terrible, it is worth watching and enjoyable for what it is. Michael Nyquist is good as the Russian captain in one of his last film roles before his death. The submarine scenes feel realistic, the film got use of a US Virginia class submarine and then replicated the control room in the Pinewood Studios in London along with some water based sequences. External land based sequences were shot in Bulgaria.
I enjoyed this film for what it is but it feels disappointing because it could have been better maybe with some better editing. Rent rather than buy.
There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read plus Spanish.
The main audio track here is a Dolby Atmos one (resolving as True HD 7.1 on non-Atmos systems).In addition there is a Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 plus a Spanish track in Dolby Digital 5.1. The Blu-ray version only has DTS HD-MA 5.1.
There is some excellent surround activity in the film especially the action sequences and the submarine scenes which evoke the claustrophobic world of a submarine. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout. The subwoofer added lots of grunt and tension sounds especially during the underwater sequences.
High quality stuff.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is still and silent.
This is an extended making of featurette which is split into two parts. On the 4K you can play all but on the Blu-ray you must play each part separately. It covers casting, production, development, technical authenticity, stunts and CGI. Worthwhile.
A good quality commentary where he discusses a whole load of topics including the submarines themselves, the involvement of the Navy, building sets, research, shooting on set and in Bulgaria, themes, locations, Pinewood Studios, taking a real submarine out into the ocean, project development and much more. He is engaging and interesting.
A shorter version of Surface Tension with similar content.
An even shorter version of the above. Superfluous really.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release seems to be the same format globally.
The video quality is very good but variable.
The audio quality is excellent.The extras are decent.
|DVD||Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG OLEDC8PTA 55”. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|