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Black Sea (2014)

Duration1h 54m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Germany: 12 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorKevin Macdonald
Writers/ScriptDennis Kelly
StarringJude Law, Scoot McNairy, David Threlfall, Ben Mendelsohn and a crew of Russians.
RatingsIMDb: 6.4 by 35,136 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 80% by 130 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Captain Robinson is an ex-submariner and a former employee of Agora an marine salvage company. Agora has ben prevented by border disputes from recovering a cache of gold from a sunken German submarine, but Robinson has a plan to buy an old Russian sub from Sebastopol and use it to get to the gold. While things go well to start with, violence between the British and the Russians results in an explosion in the machinery space and the sub is disabled on the seabed, but close to the lost U Boat. At this point they are able to put divers into the sea who go over to the German sub and recover a necessary spare part as well as the gold. But there are Russian warships looking or them so even if they get their submarine going can they survive?

Content: No sex or nudity although in flashback Robinson’s estranged wife is seen in a bikini. A bit of drinking and I think some smoking. Robinson negotiated to get a backer for his project and collects a crew some of them having served with him in the Navy, and some experienced Russians, including a navigator and a sonar man. The Russians at the Brits argue a lot and once in the submarine they are confined by the valves and wheels and operating systems as well as the connecting hatches between the bits of the sub. Time spent with the divers who trog about on the seabed, and recover the gold.

A View: I have problems with any film in the marine environment since I am a former mariner and although I have never sailed on a submarine, I know a bit about them. This knowledge did give me problems since I identified technical weaknesses in the plot as they took place, just as the IMDb did. But that aside Jude Law was terrific as the captain with issues and the increasing levels of tension made us doubt that any of them would survive. So despite its failure to make any money, worth couple of hours of your time.

Additional Info: The Soviet submarine used in the film is actually real, is in private hands and is moored on the River Medway.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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