Title – Black Sea (2014)
Director – Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland)
Cast – Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Michael Smiley, Grigoriy Dobrygin
Plot – Recently fired submarine captain Robinson (Law) accepts a job for a rich businessman that will see him and a crew of his choice traverse the depths of the Black Sea to uncover a long lost World War 2 submarine full of Nazi gold. In the tight confines of an underwater vessel, the crews above ground problems come to a boil when they come to realise the extent of the large sum of money that is at stake.
“Every man gets an equal share”
Review by Eddie on 13/04/2015
With one of the most appealing and oft underused supporting casts of current generation actors that you can imagine and with an undeniably daft yet totally involving story setup, Kevin MacDonald’s submarine set thriller Black Sea is a movie you can place smack bang in the middle of quality guilty pleasure movie making at it’s very best, as a frequently enthralling and brooding piece of movie making that will have you on the edge of your seat even when things get a little to OTT for their own good.
Key to the success of Black Sea is its ability to not take itself too seriously and while there are serious moments (mainly involving a lot of death) and commentary on the treatment of big corporate companies on working class employees, Macdonald knows the underwater hunt for Nazi gold isn’t too far removed from a raft of B-grade adventure films that flooded the marketplace in the 80’s and 90’s and appreciates the charms this instils into his film. From the films quick fire set-up where within the first 20 minutes we’ve had the lowdown of this dangerous expedition and met all the films array of able and not so able bodied seafarers, through to the necessarily over the top and snarky dialogue spitting performances of the cast, Black Sea cares little for exposition or down time when the lure of millions of dollars of gold is driving these man forward.
Our grizzly bunch are here led by the ever good Jude Law as captain and driver of the mission Captain Robinson. Law here creates a character focussed solely on sticking it to the man after his been fired from his long time sea salvaging job and life has given him a whole bag of lemons. Robinson is an interesting creation as a good man willing to push the boundaries in a quest for what he feels is owed to him and his eccentric crew, the crew in which the film comes into a higher level of guilty pleasure goodness. From Ben Mendelsohn’s psychotic diver Fraser, Michael Smiley’s wiry technician Reynolds and Scott McNairy’s claustrophobic “banker” Daniels, the film creates tension and intrigue from these supports and it’s clear all were having a blast on such a fun creation that we to can enjoy thanks to their turns.
Well filmed by the always good Macdonald, well-acted by its professional and willing cast, with special mention of Jude Law, who seems intent on shedding his pretty boy persona at any given moment and with a simple yet satisfyingly popcorn munching set-up, Black Sea is a fully formed thriller that is under no illusions to what it is. With an understanding of the joys to be had in sitting back and watching a dangerous mission unfold, lives on the line at any given moment, Black Sea succeeds at entertaining in a refreshingly old fashioned way.
3 and a half delicious bowls of food out of 5