Starring: Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, and Peter Sarsgaard
Directed By: Katheryn Bigelow
by Katheryn Bigelow, one helluva chickbabe who proves women don't
just make chick-flick, girlfests, or 'period' pieces! Usually
I love these Das Boot / U 571 things
a phallic vessel filled with adorable accented beaus sporting
military wear...purr.... what's not to love?
In K-19 The Widowmaker the movie makers serve
us Liam (Pronounced: leeYUM) Neeson strutting about in handsome
Russian naval wear, cutey-pie rising Peter Sarsgaard and that
fine wine of a studmudffin, Harrison Ford thrown into the manly
mix. I'd almost sign up for Naval missions if they had
that kind of mansteak in the fathoms below folks!
So how did K-19 go so wrong in their mission to entertain
and beguile us? The over dramatic monotoned grimace of Harrison
and the on again/off again Russian accent of Liam Neeson combined
with a plain old confusing melodramatic dull-o-rama story that's
story, loosely based on a true event, follows the mission of K-19
a Russian nuclear submarine. It is to head north and see if it
can launch a missile. A test missile since it's not wartime. (snore)
the way tension starts to build (yawn) between the new Captain
Alexie Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) and the old K-19 captain, now
serving under him, Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson). The new
Captain keeps drilling the crew; unload and reload a torpedo,
fake a fire in quadron 3, and maneuver through a water leak in
the galley. He even goes so far as to dive the sub down to near
"crush" depth of 300 meters to see if the sub can do
it. Ass. He endangers the lives of the crew in the name of rehearsing
crew manages to make it though the Captain's testosterone festival
of tests (obviously or there would be no movie) and arrive safely
in the north to carry out the nuclear missile test.
do, the missile works -- though where'd it go -- and K-19 is are
reassigned (insert dramatic music). Now the happy-go-lucky (not)
captain is to take his crew down to the coast of America and sit
outside Washington and New York.
mundane Caprain almost breaks a grin....almost. But wait. What's
this? Uh-oh, the nuclear reactor has popped a gasket or something
and has started to meltdown -- fast. The onboard nuclear
gadget specialist Vadim Radtchenko (Peter Sarsgaard) isn't trained
in this. So they all gather in the galley and peruse, literally,
the manual on 'Troubleshooting Nuclear Meltdowns.' I laughed out
loud I fear.
Vadim feels useless and stupid, as he should, and has a mental
The crew really wants to care about the young scared pseudo-
specialist but there's that needle thingy that keeps rising on
the reactor and if it makes it to 1000 degrees they are going
to blow bigger than Hiroshima so he's on his own to battle his
crew is sent in to solder (?) the reactor with plastic masks and
parkas, since the budget didn't seem to include radioactive protective
radioactive gear for the nuclear sub. They go in turns each pair
ten minutes. They come out repulsively poisoned of course. The
soldering worked the coolant will cool down the reactor. They
see an American destroyer and the motherland-loving Captain refuses
help for his radiation-exposed crew. Back in Russia they see this
soiree at sea from the spy planes and start to think the good
Captain is defecting and giving the enemy the sub as payment for
freedom. This is not this guy's week.
that needle in the reactor is rising again
so they do have
to man stations and start all over. What? Was the script too
short? Whatever. They dive to solder the reactor. But before
they can send in the men two by two to their deaths in hopes
of saving the world from another war if it blows, Vadim (you
remeber him the non-knowledgable specialist from a few scenes
back?) becomes a hero and has been in there twenty minutes fixing
the leak unbeknownst to his fellow crew mates. Awe. Naturally
he's human borscht when he comes out but a hero.
Okay this is technically a great story, especially since it's
based on truth. But it would have been better served on The
History Channel with Harrison Ford narrating nice black and
white photos and the usual.
And speaking of Harrison Ford, when did he graduate from the Nicolas
Cage School of Acting where the motto is: "One expression
equals all expressions?" I mean Harrison Ford's expression
never, even for an instant, changes.
Liam Neeson who is without a doubt one of the sexiest men alive
was even yummier with the semi-Russian accent. Give me him, a
bottle of vodka and a snowed in cabin anytime baby. But Serbian
fantasies aside, this guy's a great actor.
this Peter Sarsgaard who played sweet inexperienced nuclear specialist
Vadim Radtchenko that had my eyebrow erect with attention.
He was wonderful in the sadly unseen Salton
Sea and here he brings a pinch of humanity to a cast we
otherwise just don't care about even with the pre-sub scene setups.
Pete's scrumtious keep an eye out for this young delectable nummy
this and rent Schindler's List again or have a Harrison
Ford night and watch his guy running from a rock...er...Raiders
of the Lost Ark again. K-19 is too long and serious.
The soundtrack is gorgeous. But come on after about two hours
of Klaus Badelt's melodic orchestrations being piped into your
head via the THX system you're hard pressed not to slip into sleepy-woo-woo.
History movies are great. But when they don't explain what's happening,
why and how or didn't provide handy historical Cliffnotes©
to those of us not familiar with the friggin' cold war maneuvers
of Russian nuclear submarines we are just left feeling bored and
Recommendation: Strawberry jam and water crackers with red
. it slows the radiation absorption