HUNTER KILLER (MA15+) Up periscope, down expectations, US, 114 min
Got a big dumb action movie to make? Mark Wahlberg and Jason Statham not taking your calls? Shoot Gerard Butler a text. The burly surly Brit of Olympus Has Fallen and Geostorm fame has always been everyone’s third choice for a two-bit package of explosions, executions and expletives. Butler almost always gets the job done, if only for his proven ability to keep a straight face when the going gets bent. So it goes for this supremely stoo-pid underwater thriller, in which Butler plays a maverick US submarine captain whose narky nous somehow steers the planet away from World War 3. That’s him pouting at radar screens and barking orders from beneath an iceberg in Russian-controlled waters. Meanwhile above ground, the Russkis are midways through a military coup that could ignite nuclear fireworks unless Butler and crew can rescue a roughed-up Russian president and restore him to power. It may make your day if madcap mindless escapism is what you need.