K-19: The Widowmaker

0
0
Subscribe to Harrison Ford alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 138 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th July 2002

Box Office USA: $35.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $35.2M

Budget: $90M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: First Light Production, Intermedia Films, National Geographic Society, New Regency Pictures, Palomar Pictures (II)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 101 Rotten: 67

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Harrison Ford as Alexei Vostrikov, Liam Neeson as Mikhail Polenin, Peter Sarsgaard as Vadim Radtchinko, Joss Ackland as Marshal Zelentsov, John Shrapnel as Admiral Bratyeev, Donald Sumpter as Dr. Savran, Tim Woodward as Partonov, Steve Nicolson as Demichev, George Anton as Konstantin, James Francis Ginty as Anatoly, Lex Shrapnel as Kornilov, Ingvar Eggert SigurĂ°sson as Gorelov, Sam Spruell as Dmitri, Sam Redford as Vasily, Peter Stebbings as Kuryshev, Roman Podhora as Lapinsh, Shaun Benson as Leonid, Dmitry Chepovetsky as Sergei, Christopher Redman as Kiklidze, Tygh Runyan as Maxim, Peter Graham as Danya Yashin, Shawn Mathieson as Stepan, Jacob Pitts as Grigori, Christopher Routh as Oleg, Lubomir Mykytiuk as Dr. Gavril, Michael Gladis as Yevgeny Borzenkov, Christian Camargo as Pavel, Ravil Isyanov as Suslov, Kristen Holden-Ried as Anton

K-19: The Widowmaker Movie Review


K-19: The Widowmaker is based on a true story about a Russian submarine sent to test a nuclear missile at the height of the Cold War. The boat is ill-equipped for its task, and Capitan Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson) loses his command by insisting that the sub won't be ready in time for its scheduled launch. Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) is given control of the ship, and his stern demeanor and commitment to military efficiency soon make him enemies onboard.

He runs the crew through relentless drills, offers little encouragement, and seems to take unnecessary chances. We soon learn that Polenin -- who remains aboard the sub -- is a father figure to the sailors, while Vostrikov aims to inspire fear. These opposing command styles lead to power clashes throughout the movie, a la Crimson Tide.

After testing the missile, the crew is ordered to sneak past NATO bases and assume a patrol along the eastern coast of the United States. Along the way, mechanical problems threaten to launch a chain of events that would ignite the boat's radioactive cargo. A nuclear explosion so near NATO bases would invite international conflict between the superpowers, but there's no way to fix the problem without jeopardizing the entire crew. The command structure and the sailors' lives are threatened as the captains try to prevent World War III.

The biggest obstacle in a war film is often giving the audience enough information about a swarm of soldiers to make you care when one of them is hurt. The screenwriter gives the characters sufficient depth and tweaks the familiar war movie characters -- green enlistee, world-weary buddy, surly commander with a heart of gold -- just enough to make them worthwhile. Not surprisingly, Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson have good chemistry, though it is jarring to hear an affected Russian accent on the steadfast American Ford.

The submarine, as usual, is a strong backdrop for suspense. The setting is so pregnant with imminent bad luck that the audience is on edge well before things get going. Director Kathryn Bigelow plays up the sense of foreboding with fantastic cross-section shots of the ship that show you exactly how close the sailors are to potential disaster.

My only real complaint is that the movie is too long, especially in its indulgent conclusion. After nearly two and a half hours, I was more than ready to leave. If Bigelow had simply produced a solid action flick and left behind aspirations to drama, it would have clipped along nicely. Still, it's a satisfying summer blockbuster and worth a look.

On DVD, K-19 proves itself a real showpiece for those interested in Soviet history. In addition to a commentary, there are tons of documentaries about the making of the film, including numerous behind-the-scenes and before-the-production shots of the movie, including numerous research trips to Russia. Intriguing if you're an aficionado.

All together now... PUSH!


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Harrison Ford alerts

Comments

K-19: The Widowmaker Rating

" Good "

Advertisement

More Harrison Ford

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

Advertisement

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement