The Hunt For Red October ****


This is one of the great submarine films of our time.  A modern classic of an underwater chess game filled with edge of your seat suspense punctuated by thrilling action.  Why not compare it to checkers?  Well because there is more to it then just submerged action. 

The story follows Captain Marko Ramius played gloriously by Sean Connery.  He has been given the command of the newest Russian submarine which is being sent out for it’s maiden voyage.  Captain Ramius has other plans for this ship.  For personal reasons I will not get in to, he goes rogue with the intention of defecting to America.  Only he knows and his first officers are aware of this.  His actions set off tensions between the United States and Russia as both sides attempt to find him and destroy him.

Alec Baldwin plays everybody’s favourite CIA analyst Jack Ryan.  He is the one who makes the call on Ramius’ possible defection.  Eventually he finds himself out in the field, attempting to make contact with Ramius to learn his actual intentions.  Scott Glenn plays an American captain who is given the task of finding Ramius and taking him out. 

The movie follows the three basic plots lead by those three main characters.  The tension mounts under the superb direction of John McTiernan, leading to an ending that even I could not predict. 

This movie comes from a time when characters and story were the engines to drive a film.  Comparing a film like this and a clunker like “U-571” which betrayed it’s story for relentless cartoon action, is like night and day. 


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