The problem with submarine movies is that they’re basically all the same plot: Put a ragtag crew of hardened officers into a metal tube underwater, add in some military conflict, and you’ve got a recipe for mutiny and disaster.
Black Sea, the latest offering from director Kevin Macdonald (best known for The Last King of Scotland, 2006), is no different. But it’s still a surprisingly good film full of twists and turns, and will leave you gasping for air at its conclusion.
After being fired from his job as a submarine pilot at a salvage company, Robinson (Jude Law) finds himself at rock bottom. With nothing else to lose, he signs up for what might be his biggest job yet: salvaging a World War II U-boat full of gold.
Putting together a motley crew of Brits and Russians, Robinson promises them an equal share of the gold if they succeed. But it’s not long before tensions start to mount, along with the realisation that if even one man were to die, everyone’s share of the gold would increase.
Law is known for playing suave, charismatic types, but here he puts on a thick Aberdeen accent and makes shaving low on his list of priorities. Being a hardened old sea dog, Robinson is much more at ease on a sub than on land.
However, he’s still a desperate man, and for all his bravado and fairness, Law gives him a flash of madness in his eyes every once in a while.
There’s some solid acting performances in this movie, including Bobby Schofield, who plays young Tobin, brought into the crew as a last minute replacement.
My biggest worry about this film was Law’s Scottish accent. When I first saw a trailer for Black Sea, it struck me as a completely bizarre decision to cast someone like Law in this role.
Thankfully, while his accent is uneven in some places, it’s mostly convincing and didn’t really distract from the plot. Good on you, Jude.
Still, it’s always refreshing to see a movie that isn’t part of a franchise, and Black Sea is well worth your time.
Black Sea is playing in Singapore now. Do you agree with our review? Let us know!