Writer: Christopher Kyle (Screenplay) Louis Nowra (Story)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Saragaard,
Plot: When Russia’s first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.
Tagline – Fate has found its hero.
Runtime: 2 Hours 18 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Tense Historical Thriller
Story: K-19: The Widowmaker starts in the height of the cold war between Russia and America, Russia has designed a new submarine which will contain enough nuclear weapons to destroyed the world twice over, Captain Mikhail Polenin (Neeson) must give up his leadership to strict Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Ford) who has been assigned to lead the submarine out for tests before advancing onto America.
While on the mission Alexei forces the crew through countless drills to see if they are the crew he is expecting, but when he starts pushing thing too far Mikhail starts to challenge him. The submarine then encounters problems which see the men being forced o put their differences aside to make sure they can make it home alive.
Thoughts on K-19: The Widowmaker
Characters – Captain Alexei Vostrikov is the strict captain that puts his new crew through drills at different hours of the day, he way to push the crew will bring added tension towards the crew, he demands the best and will risk the lives to make things work on the submarine. He will however risk lives when he doesn’t need believing it to be for the motherland. Captain Mikhail Polenin was the captain of this submarine, he has seen his crew struggle under the new standards and lack of ability to make the submarine to standards, he does clash with Alexei which is what is needed to help the decision making process which is important, he knows his role on this latest mission which will see his position tested between the rest of the crew. When it comes to the rest of the crew we have the normal figure that would be involved in this type of mission without anyone getting any true screen time.
Performances – Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson bring their generic Russian accents into this film which works, it is more about their intensity which puts the two head and shoulders above the rest of the cast here.
Story – The story here follows the events of the Russian submarine branded ‘The Widowmaker’ which saw its crew follow instruction on the mission only for things to go wrong and they must make the biggest decision of their lives. This does show us how two captains had different decisions and handling of their crew would make things tense between the crew. It does show us an historical moment in in submarine warfare that will put everyone involved, while it never gets overly involved in the main tensions of war and how countries would put underprepared crews out to sea because time is more important than safety.
History/War – This historical event is left for many to read as they get to see just how the Russian submarine was left to be put into a massive decision that could have bought around a new World War, while we are see how they will do anything to stop the war happening, while preparing to one day start one.
Settings – The film is set on the submarine, a closed claustrophobic position that the crew found themselves under.
Final Thoughts – This is a tense thriller such upon a submarine, it does show clash of styles between captains, only it falls short when it comes to introducing us to the supporting cast of the film.
Overall: Nice tense thriller.