Movie Review - K-19 : The Widowmaker

I must be on a movie watching spree. Last night, Jenn and I watched K-19 : The Widowmaker. Actually, I watched it, and Jenn slept through most of it. That isn't a comment on the movie, it was just a long day and Jenn passed out. Anyway, back to the movie review. I really didn't know anything about this movie. All I really knew was that it starred Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford trying their best to fake a Russian accent. I never heard anyone say anything about it either, so I really had no idea what to expect going in.

As I learned, the movie was based off of actual events that occurred back in 1961 with one of the soviet union's first nuclear attack submarines. It was at the height of the cold war nuclear arms race, and the soviets had developed a new class of nuclear attack sub to counter the american nuclear attack sub. The U.S. had already deployed subs that were capable of targeting Moscow with multiple nuclear warheads, and the USSR needed an answer to that threat. The K-19 was that answer. The movie details the events that surround the construction, testing, and deployment of that vessel. The sub was rushed through construction, and was not fully tested before leaving dry dock. Many of the crew felt that the ship was cursed. Harrison Ford plays the part of the ships captain, and runs the crew through some extraordinary drills in order to instill confidence in themselves and the boat. Following the successful test launch of a nuclear missile, the submarine is deployed to an attack zone that will target Washington D.C and New York. Just as they make way for their patrol waters, one of the coolant pumps for the onboard nuclear reactor power plant ruptures, and the men desperately try to repair the damage.

I felt this movie was very good. There are so many stories from the former soviet republic that have been kept silent for so long due to the cold war. This movie felt a lot like Apollo 13, in that a crew was faced with a sink or swim situation (no pun intended) where they were either going to repair the ship and live on, or drown trying. I would highly recommend this film, if not for the entertainment value, then for the different perspective it gives on the nuclear arms race.


Reel Popcorn Junkie said...

K-19 has great source material, but is largely a disappointment. Too many cliched scenes and characters bogged this story down.

Jade Mason