Last year when I watched Geostorm and saw Gerard Butler save the world from a giant climate change death star from space that blew up a stadium with lightning, I knew that Butler was forever destined to be the action star of horrible films that we need but don’t deserve. If you are not coming into Hunter Killer with the expectation that this is going to be the schlockiest (it’s a word) films you’ve seen all year, then you are doing Hollywood wrong. Well, I’m happy to report that if it is Schlock you want, it is schlock you are going to get.
Hunter Killer is a story about tensions between the Russian and American governments (I know what you are thinking but stay with me). After a Russian sub takes out an American sub, the highest ranking military officials call on ONE MAN to lead a group in a Submariners who have never even been fired at before into one of the most dangerous international missions of all time as they investigate what happened in foreign waters. What they discover however is that the Russian government is leading a coup against their own president to launch an attack on American ships and start World War III!!!
Also, there is a side mission with a Navy Seal team, but that’s not really that important.
Where to begin with this? They should have named this movie ‘Convenience’ because Superman couldn’t even break through this plot armor. The film is loaded with action clichés and conveniences that could have never happened if the plot didn’t need it to. Gerard Butler happens to be the one guy who can command a military vessel, Linda Cardellini just happens to be the one NSA agent who provides critical Intel just when the plot needs it, Common happens to be the only character with a plan that doesn’t involve complete war, An entire Submarine fleet is found hiding out in two local bars, a wounded soldier somehow moves himself miles away from where he was shot and happens to be in just the right place to save his team from certain death. The leader of that team just happens to randomly find him in the middle of nowhere later on to return the favor. A Hillary Clinton clone just happens to be president of the United States as this film was shot months before the 2016 election.
Not only is the plot ridiculous, but it is overstuffed as well. It feels like there are three separate movies, going on at once, but none of them gel with one another. The film is at its best when the focus is on Gerald’s character, but the writing doesn’t know how to keep the focus on him without jumping in and out of various plot points. Then again, they don’t even know how to write human dialogue for these characters, so what else should we expect from them? Passable CGI? Stock Footage from the last 10 years? Russians who actually look Russian? Subtitles????
Hunter Killer is just stupid enough not to be the worst film of 2018 and it is just stupid enough to be entertaining if you want to laugh at a bad film.