SCREENS

HUNTER KILLER (18)

Shortlist - - THIS WEEK -

It's slim-pick­ings for new re­lease at the cin­ema this week, but Ger­ard But­ler sub­ma­rine flick, Hunter Killer is here. It sees a griz­zly sub com­man­der lead some Navy SEALs in a daring mis­sion to Rus­sia. There are a cou­ple of timely Hal­loween movies, too, in the shape of slasher Hell Fest and se­rial killer thriller, Sum­mer of 84.

With a pos­si­ble eye on the cur­rent un­easy re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US of A and Rus­sia, Hol­ly­wood serves up a bom­bas­tic slice of make-be­lieve ag­gro be­tween the two coun­tries in Hunter Killer. Ger­ard But­ler (300, Lon­don Has Fallen) plays Joe Glass – a wet be­hind the ears US sub­ma­rine com­man­der who’s sent to in­ves­ti­gate a lost Amer­i­can ves­sel that was last seen in the waters of the Arc­tic. Sus­pi­cions sug­gest that the Rus­sians may have blown it to bits with tor­pe­does, but there’s slightly more, erm, depth to it. Like what? Up on the sur­face the Amer­i­cans quickly re­alise that a) they’re com­pletely out­gunned by war­ships and all man­ner of ar­tillery sat on the coast and b) the Rus­sian pres­i­dent has been kid­napped and a full-scale war is about to be trig­gered by one of his min­is­ters. Yikes. The twist that you’ll spot a mile away is that the US mil­i­tary must then delve deep into en­emy ter­ri­tory to res­cue the cap­tured leader in or­der to pre­vent a nu­clear win­ter. It’s all very much ac­tion-movie-by-num­bers as mis­siles fill the skies and oceans and very loud ex­plo­sions come rip­ping through the speak­ers, with lit­tle else in be­tween. The only real sur­prise is that they some­how man­aged to bag Academy Award win­ning ac­tor, Gary Old­man (Bat­man: The Dark Knight and Dark­est Hour) to star as the scene-steal­ing war strate­gist Ad­mi­ral Charles Don­negan. Still, Hunter Killer is gen­uinely en­ter­tain­ing, if not fairly pre­dictable. It’s the per­fect week­end movie with mates.

In cine­mas now

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