Nerves frazzle at 200 fathoms when Denzel Washington's rebellious lieutenant comes to loggerheads with gung-ho nuclear sub commander Gene Hackman. With the world above sea level on the brink of nuclear war, director Tony Scott cranks up the tension with enough testosterone to block a torpedo tube. As Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini and the rest of the crew decide where their loyalties lie, see if you can tell which bits of the script were written by the uncredited Quentin Tarantino.
This Bruckheimer produced submarine drama is essentially born from a simple question: "What if two officers disagree on a nuclear submarine, but both are correct?"
Gene Hackman is on fine form as the Captain of the USS Alabama, which is called into duty off the back of an uprising of a small rebel Russian faction.
With his number two struck down by illness, Hackman selects Denzel Washington as his first officer.
The bullish ways of Hackman's captain, while correct by the letter of the law, lead to a conflict of massive proportions with the laid back and thoughtful Washington.
Tony Scott cranks the tension in the claustrophobic boat, though it may be Quentin Tarantino's input on the script that provides the freshness lacking in films of this type.
For a Bruckheimer film, it's remarkably short on explosions, though the real fireworks come from the acting which is first rate.