WWII is in full stride. Who is sent in to turn the tide of the war to our side? None other than Matthew McConaughey and his group of merry men, most of whom have never really been in combat before. Sounds like a bad pitch for a film. Well the execution is much better.
U-571 is a fictional account of a group of seamen sent on a top secret mission. The mission is to approach a stranded German ship as their supply sub, go on board, and steal their Enigma machine and codebook. This machine is believed to be the secret to why Germany is in the war and if it gets into our hands we will get the upper hand. Something happens to the group and they become stranded on the broken ship. Captain McConaughey must hide their identities so the Germans don't attack them plus they must find their way back to their
allies on English shores. On top of this, they must get this Enigma machine to the shores without the Germans knowing the US has it. Otherwise the mission becomes useless.
What the film lacks in story and originality, it makes up with good character acting and heavy doses of suspense. Matthew McConaughey is very good as a Captain trying to prove his ability as a leader plus he's got one of the hardest last names to spell. Harvey Keitel excellently portrays McConaughey's wise, experienced right hand man, the Chief, that participated in WWI. Great performances also come out of the likes of Jack Noseworty
(Breakdown, MTV's "Dead At 21") and the comedic ex-"Living Single" star (the sitcom with Queen Latifah) T.C. Carson. Noseworthy is the king of supporting roles in my mind with the likes of William H. Macy and Michael Caine. I can't remember the last time I saw Noseworthy star in a movie. He's been in some good but also some of the worst. Remember the blind brother of then Pamela Anderson in
Barbwire. That's Jack. Boy was that movie horrendous.
The film represents the inner sights of a old submarine excellently. The down and dirty mechanics of a classic WWII submarine. The movie is very plausible and therefore quite believable. Even McConaughey was believable as the leader with a conscience. This almost seems like a perfect role for him. The atmosphere is rightly suspenseful.
The most suspenseful scenes in the film involved a weapon called splashers. They are systematically dropped in the water and set to explode after a certain depth in the water. The Germans attempt to drop them on the Americans. At least there are no sharks or aliens in this boat movie like
Virus, Sphere, Deep Blue Sea and Deep
Rising. Those films are boat films gone wrong, this is one gone right. Speaking of boats, I can't forget the big one. Titanic was not a great movie. It had weak acting, an obvious plot, and 150 million dollars worth of special effects and settings. Big deal!
U-571 is a fulfilling action film that keeps you interested and tense. Even though we know who wins the war, we always want to know how it was done. This film does a good job of
portraying the Navy's part in the war. U-571 is the best film I've seen about a boat in a while. It's an entertaining, enjoyable war flick.
3 out of 4 stars
Reviewed by Joe Soria
Running Time: 115 minutes
Rated PG-13 for war violence
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill
Pullman, Harvey Keitel, Jack Noseworthy, T.C. Carson, and Jon Bon Jovi
Written and Directed by: Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown)
out U-571 on DVD.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]