Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide (R)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman

Contents: Violence, profanity

Rating: 7

Summary: Denzel Washington is forced to take command of the nuclear submarine Alabama when he disagrees with the Captain (Gene Hackman) over orders to fire their nuclear missiles at Russian terrorists who have taken over a missile base. A mutiny by the Captain and some officers loyal to him ensues, while the ship is attacked by a Russian sub and the radio operator desparately tries to confirm the launch order.

Despite a contrived situation (just for the record: Washington would never have been able to get rid of Hackman so easily on a real submarine. The Captain on a U.S. sub has what amounts to dicatorial powers while at sea) I thought the tension was kept high and the situation interesting. Gene Hackman definitely steals the show from Washington: you can really see his blood boiling when Washington takes command. Also, I really felt for the poor radio operator trying to get his radio up again ("Scotty, where's that power?!").

One other nit: the quote at the end of the film, saying how as of 1996, power to launch missiles will not reside with sub commanders, but with the President, is downright silly (so what's he going to do: beam into each sub and press the button?)

Further Info (IMD)

© 1995-2002 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Tuesday, March 09, 2004