A tense deep sea adventure
114 min – Rated R – **No Spoilers**
This film is a tense, slow burn, so if that’s not your thing, then stay away. Black Sea is about Robinson (Jude Law) a submarine captain who gets laid off and accepts a sketchy contract to make ends meet. The job involves going down to the bottom of the Black Sea, an inland sea located in Turkey, and recovering gold from a downed Nazi submarine. To aid his venture, Robinson has to scrap together a crew in a small amount of time, and all the characters feel authentic. The Russian actors sound great and it’s because they are actually Russian actors which is a nice touch.
The whole film has a very high attention to detail, and they used a real 1960’s decommissioned submarine to shoot the scenes. Once the submarine descends, that is where the rest of the film takes place. It’s very refreshing to watch a film that forgoes usual Hollywood conventions and tells a tense story about the desperation to survive and prosper.
As the film moves along, there are many twists and turns that keep the film going at a nice pace. I’m not usually a fan of films like this that take their time and center around one setting, but the plot ended up being pretty surprising and was very well written. This is coming from Kevin Macdonald, the director of the shocking but exquisitely done The Last King of Scotland, and his directing chops really show through here. There is a certain respect for the viewer that permeates the whole film.
As far as complaints go, there isn’t much to complain about. The only real nitpick I have is that the film could’ve gone a bit more into character development so you could care a bit more about each guy. Besides that, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome and peaked my interest all the way to the exciting conclusion.
Overall this is a fantastic film that anyone with a love for the sea and gritty films can enjoy. Just don’t go in expecting your typical Hollywood Submarine movie. This really is a film that stands out among Jude Law’s career and I look forward to seeing him play more roles like this.