Opening 28 Jun 2018
Writing credits: Richard Wenk, Luc Besson
Principal actors: J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton, Charlie Bewley, Sylvia Hoeks, Joshua Henry
Matt, Stan, Ben, Kurt, and JP (see actors above) are US Navy Seals stationed in Sarajevo in 1995. A close team of five, they just kidnapped an enemy general and delivered him to their force. Their boss, Admiral Levin (J.K. Simmons), however, is not pleased because their escape provoked a huge public fracas. Although it was much fun driving a tank through Sarajevo and crashing off of a bridge, it is bad policy, not to be repeated, and therefore they are suspended for a few days. Killing time by drinking beer is only good for so long. They need entertainment, and what could be more entertaining than diving under water into a sunken village to bring up a heavy load of French gold bars worth over 300 million dollars, and all for a good cause. They know the details because Stan’s girlfriend Laura (Sylvia Hoeks), a waitress in their favorite bar, Klub Korzo, shared the history, told by her grandfather. As a young boy, he escaped a 1944 Nazi attack on his village and secretly watched as they deposited this gold in the local bank, before the dam exploded and buried the whole town under water.
The advantage to this collection of the usual clichés of teamwork, love affair, boss man, good-bad, and World War II, is that one can sit back and concentrate on going underwater with the characters. Diving is hard work and soon, you, too, will be gasping for breath when the Navy Seals float up into fresh air. Director Steven Quale said that working on films such as Titanic and Storm Hunters opened his eyes to the difficulties of dealing with water. “Water requires higher levels of security, while offering significant degrees of beauty.” Actor Charlie Bewley, who plays Stan, said, “we play Americans, but none of us five are from the U.S. We come from England, Ireland, Australia, and Canada.” J.K. Simmons and Sylvia Hoeks are especially impressive in their roles, and I loved Ewen Bremner as a crazy little helicopter pilot. Filmed on location in Croatia and Malta, as well as in studios in Germany and Belgium. (Becky Tan)