U-571 (2000)

Director Jonathan Mostow
Written by Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery, David Ayer

Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Thomas Kretschmann, Jake Weber, Jack Noseworthy, Tom Guiry, Will Estes, TC Carson, Erik Palladino, Dave Power, Derk Cheetwood, Matthew Settle.

During WW2, a German U Boat is badly damaged and makes a distress call. Intercepted by the Americans, they plan a covert mission to board the ship, pretending to be Germans in order to capture the secret Enigma machine. The American ship, led by Capt Paxton, and his Lt (and recently declined to lead his own ship) McConaughey.

When the mission goes awry, and their own ship is blown up during the capture – they are now stuck on board a broken submarine, in a ship where few of them understand the language. They must now try to make safe passage to 

Loosely based on true events, the film is filled with nail biting action sequences, as well as plenty of edge of your seat moments where the heroes almost get caught out.

Very American(ised) telling of the war, is fairly factually inaccurate according to sources, but it is boosted by a stellar cast with McConaughey and Keitel as the senior.

With most of the film taking place within the confines of the submarines, the filming never overly feels claustrophobic, and the direction by Mostow (as well as the cinematography by the recently departed Oliver Wood) is one of the films strengths.

At a moderate 110m runtime, the main issue in the screenplay is that the primary storyline takes almost 45m to occur, and then there is a little over an hour until the credits roll. While without this opening timeline several of the cast would have less screen time, it took away from what could have been a better film if they got to the bulk of the story quicker.

There are some very great moments of this film, both shocking and heart-breaking, but it could have been so much more if the first act was done differently.

A forgotten action flick of the new Century – has a 90’s feel about it, but not a terrible film by any means.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: