Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Hunt For Red October (1990)

THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
DIRECTED BY: JOHN McTIERNAN
WRITTEN BY: LARRY FERGUSON & DONALD STEWART
OVERALL SCORE: 10/10
TOP 100 FILMS: #54


Up and coming CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) is in a race against time when Russian submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) takes a state of the art nuclear submarine, and directs it right at the USA. While Ryan believes this may be an act of defection, is the US willing to take that risk?

When I unveiled this list well over a year ago, no movie (with the exception of Wrath of Khan) earned as many head-scratches over its position as this one, and after many viewings, I still stand by this one. You see, in all my years of watching movies I've yet to find many that are as constant upon repeat viewings as McTiernan's Hunt for Red October. Every time I watch this my blood gets pumping, my head gets examining, and I get in the mood for a submarine thrill ride. Much of that I notch up to a killer musical accompaniment, backed by just flat out fun scripting from beginning to end.

Hunt for Red October works because it perfectly balances intelligence, entertainment, and charismatic leads to present one of the most entertaining films I've ever witnessed. Not only that but it has a cast to die for: Connery, Baldwin, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill, Scott Glenn, Tim Curry, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeffrey Jones, Fred Dalton Thompson, and Courtney B. Vance. All of which perfectly capture that combination of fun and popcorn entertainment so many of us seek out in movies. Granted even I'll admit Hunt for Red October is not perfect, but isn't the measure of a quality film one that holds strong throughout viewings?

The greatest asset Hunt for Red October has is that it doesn't have to try and be anything more than entertainment, because at the core of its story it already is more. It's anti-war, pro-action, and all around fun. It manages to to contain lots without forcing any of it. And at the same time it gives birth to one of the most entertaining characters in novel, Jack Ryan (whom I'm a big fan of). He's not the most thrilling character, but he's smart, a jack of all trades, and Alec Baldwin captures him to a tee. There's so much enjoyment I get out of this upon each viewing I'd be remiss if it wasn't on my list, and if there's one thing I believe about film review: be who you are. And I'm proud to say Hunt for Red October is one of my all time favorite movies.

Captivating from start to finish, John Mctiernan's action-adventure classic that is The Hunt for Red October is one of those movies that never ages, even upon multiple repeat viewings.

3 better thoughts:

TheAnswerMVP2001 said...

The only thing that would have made this better is Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan. Alec Baldwin just doesn't do it for me.

The Mad Hatter said...

Hey Dude - You might have noticed already, but just thought you should know I gave you a mention in a little blog-award thingy on my blog today.

Take a look...

http://mcneilmatinee.blogspot.com/2010/01/all-right-friends.html

fandangogroovers said...

As I said on one of Mad Hatters posts the other day Alec Baldwin was the best Jack Ryan for me!

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