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Film / Hunter Killer

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Hunter Killer is an American action-adventure film that was released October 2018. Directed by Donovan Marsh and written by Arne Schmidt with Jamie Moss, it is an adaptation of the 2012 novel Firing Point, which was authored by Don Keith and George Wallace. The cast includes Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Linda Cardellini, Toby Stephens, Michael Nyqvist in one of his final roles, Caroline Goodall, and Mikhail Gorevoy. It was released in the United States on October 26, 2018 by Summit Entertainment. It is dedicated to Mikael Nyqvist, who died in June 2017 in his native Stockholm, Sweden.

In terms of story-line, the film features cat-and-mouse games involving American and Russian submarines that culminate in the U.S. military discovering a coup against the civilian Russian leadership. Orchestrated by the treacherous Minister of Defense and his cronies, the rapidly unfolding events threaten to start World War III. The crew of a U.S. hunter killer must work with a special group of Navy SEALs to save the day, working deep in Russian territory to prevent catastrophe.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Badass Beard: Beaman, the leader of the group of Navy SEALs (played by Toby Stephens) sports one.
  • Badass Mustache: Sported by Beaman as well.
  • Big Bad: Defence Minister Dmitri Durov (played by Mikhail Gorevoy, who was actually born in Moscow)
  • Big Damn Heroes: Martinelli has a big damn heroes moment when he saves the surviving members of his team as well as the Russian president by laying down accurate and deadly sniper fire on their pursuers.
  • Big Good: the unnamed "Madam President" (played by Caroline Goodall, bearing a clear resemblance to a certain 2008 and 2016 candidate)
  • Butt-Monkey: Absolutely nothing goes right for Martinelli during the first half of the movie. He (barely) fails a training exercise, almost doesn't stick his landing and almost kills himself and he's the only one to get shot when the russians try to scout their position. His luck ironically turns around once he gets left behind and takes on the role of Friendly Sniper.
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  • Evil Chancellor: The usurping Durov's role.
  • Fatal Family Photo: inverted. Martinelli, who shows his wife/girlfriend's photo, is among the two survivors out of the SEAL team.
  • Friendly Sniper: Martinelli, the SEAL team sniper.
  • Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: A major draw of the film. Unfortunately the actual action scenes are few and far between. Most of the effort are spent on not getting hit.
  • Ironic Name: Captain Joe Glass (played by Gerard Butler) of the USS Arkansas has to be a brittle figure who cracks easily, right? Actually, he's an intelligent, principled leader who remains calm under extreme pressure. In boxing terms, he's got the total opposite of a 'glass jaw'.
  • Made of Iron: Soldier after soldier gets shown as being tough, understandably enough, but Beaman stands out for his body and will of steel.
  • Make the Bear Angry Again: The direct outcome of the central villain's plan means triggering a new world war that he expects to win. He aims to trick regular soldiers and other Russians, the pawns in his scheme, into thinking that they simply act to defend their homeland.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Durov launches a barrage of several anti-ship missiles at the Arkansas while it's surfaced, but those missiles are intercepted by the CIWS of a nearby Russian destroyer. The destroyer then launches several cruise missiles at Durov's headquarters, destroying it and killing Durov.
  • New Meat: Of course, the fact that they are Navy SEALs puts this in perspective, as by almost every metric Martinelli is still The Ace, but his lack of experience in comparison to the rest of the team is noted and shown several times.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The U.S. President bears a strong resemblance to a notable female politician that has run for that office but not succeeded.
  • No Name Given: The U.S. President is simply called by her title.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Despite being wounded himself, Lieutenant Beaman refuses to escape in the rescue sub and abandon Martinelli to Durov's men. He goes back alone and saves Martinelli right before he's going to be executed.
  • Prevent the War: This could basically be called Prevent The War: The Movie.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Neither the civilian leadership of Russia nor the U.S. want a war. On the American side, official after official acts cool under pressure and tries to think out all of their options. Captain Joe Glass is a great example. Interestingly, CJCS Donnegan (Gary Oldman's character) is an exception, but coming across as a hothead makes sense given the circumstances.
  • Renegade Russian: The villains aren't just acting outside of the Kremlin's authority (as in many ''James Bond'' movies). The bad guys actively murder and hold hostage the civilian leadership and their people.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Hall, the SEAL who gets the least characterization, is the first to go.
  • Sea Mine: The Arkansas had to navigate an area filled with these things.
  • Shoot the Bullet: done by the Russian destroyer to protect the Arkansas.
  • World War III: This is what multiple characters work to prevent. Durov, in contrast, appears almost suicidal in his overconfidence that Russia would win a military conflict with the U.S. (and, presumably, that he would emerge as a hero).


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