Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Now on HBO: Black Sea (2015)

Black Sea (2015) - Directed by Kevin MacDonald; Written by Dennis Kelly; Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn.

By Kenny Howell

If you take The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, transport it to the Black Sea, add some submarines and Nazi gold, and you got this film.

Jude Law plays a submarine captain who takes a job from some shady people to hunt for some Nazi gold that supposedly sank into the Black Sea. He is on the outs with his employer, and this is his chance to get back in their good graces. He gets a rag tag group together, and they get set up with a rusty old broken down ship to try to go an secure the loot.

As you would imagine, things don't go as planned, otherwise we wouldn't have a movie. When it becomes known that it is gold they are hunting, which will be spread equally among them, the idea of offing a few guys to up their take gets into some people's minds. Then there is the hatred of different cultures, mostly the Russians who aren't trusted by some of the crew. Then there is the captain's greed, which puts everyone else in danger along the way. Then there is the fact that it is a rusty old submarine that probably shouldn't be in the water in the first place.



All that being said, director Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void) knows what he is doing. He knows he is treading water that has been tread many times before. He is talented enough to punctuate those moments we know are coming, and he has collected a cast that are capable of chewing up the scenes, particularly someone like Ben Mendelsohn. It helps turn what could have been a forgettable trip in the cold Black Sea into a pretty taut little thriller.

Black Sea is currently playing on HBO.

Rating: ***

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