The Hunt for Red October (1990) / Action-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG for mild war violence
Running Time: 134 min.
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones
Director: John McTiernan
Screenplay: Larry Ferguson, Donald Stewart
Review published July 10, 1996
The best submarine commander in the Soviet Union (Connery, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) now leads the maiden voyage of the Red October, a spiffy new nuclear submarine capable of going undetected by sonar, to the United States. Is he a madman seeking to destroy the U.S. and start World War III or is he merely finding a highly unconventional way to defect? A game of cat-an-mouse ensues with the Russian fleet and U.S. Navy all trying to blow him out of the water before having to find out.
Die Hard director John McTiernan impresses once again, although it's hard to go wrong with such a fine cast. Based on the best-seller by Tom Clancy, the political mind games are superbly handled, and the nail-biting tension never lets up for a minute. It's difficult to resolve the sundry accents, with Russians all holding Scottish, British, and Australian inflections, but it's handled well, and soon forgotten. The special effects are hit and miss; the submarine effects are outstanding, while the torpedo fights are obviously phony computerized creations.
The Hunt for Red October is a good political thriller, with action and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Highly recommended for fans of Clancy, or just people who like suspenseful, intelligent war scenario dramas.
©1996 Vince Leo