Crimson Tide takes place in 1994 during a period of instability in Russia. Units of the Russian military loyal to an ultranationalist have taken control of a nuclear missile installation and are threatening nuclear war.
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Typically slick action drama from the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer factory and director Tony Scott. Strong performances and top-notch production values can't make up for a predictable and generic story - for all the tight close-ups and pulse-pounding Hans Zimmer score, the suspense feels processed and just never really works. Not a terrible film, but not particularly memorable.
Despite starring Denzel Washington and being directed by Tony Scott (admittedly this came from an era when his work was watchable) I actually really liked Crimson Tide. Admittedly, the rich dialogue and Gene Hackman did a lot of the bull work but overall it felt like a less obvious remake (or reimagining if you're an idiot) of The Caine Mutiny. I kind of wish I saw this sooner.
Look, nobody's ever going to confuse Tony Scott with (insert revered classic director here), but the man is the best at what he does - creating entertaining popcorn action films and occasionally rising toward something more (Man on Fire, Deja Vu). This one never hits those heights, but it's still an entertaining film with some very good individual performances.
appreciate that scott gently holds the audience's... collective... hand through obscure and unintelligible military jargon and strategy. well-made. don't pause long enough to think about the consequences of valorizing the inhumanity of war
Introduces complex subjects and ethics in a war action thriller, which is commendable. Too many guns but no bullet fest, which is also commendable. The political setup is hopelessly biased and reflects the 90s fantasies of the state department. Eventually problematic as it serves as justification for a a first strike, using a massively contrived scenario while avoiding to explore fully the consequences thereof.