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Black Sea

Coming Soon

How do you keep an audience engaged for 2 hours when the film’s backdrop is a confined area with no scenic change? I’ll tell you how you do it – you bring to life a compelling script, hire earnest actors, and mix in just the right amount of tension for the climax. A film about a crew on a submarine didn’t exactly sound interesting to me, but Black Sea had me encompassed from start to finish.

The story begins with Captain Robinson (played by Jude Law) who was recently fired and in need of some money for his family. Seemingly out of nowhere, a man offers Robinson a chance to find a treasure unlike any other. This venture is to find an old World War II submarine, rumored to be filled with gold, sunken in the Black Sea. The submarine that Captain Robison’s team will be taking down is not in the best shape itself, as in it looks like it could sink at any moment. Half of the work crew stems from the U.K., and the other half hail from Russia. From the very get go there is a language barrier and from that, initial conflicts are born.

One of the men, Fraser (played by Ben Mendelsohn) immediately announced his disdain for the Russians and through his actions, the riff between the two groups is solidified. He instigates quite a few major blow ups within the crew, which in turn will only making getting the job they are trying to complete, that much harder. Makes you wonder, why bother? The Russians are being quite pushy themselves, picking on the youngest of the British side, they accuse Tobin (played by Bobby Schofield ) of being a virgin. They say he is going to bring them all bad luck. I must give praise to Bobby as an actor because there is something about him that just makes the viewer feel like protecting him. Throughout the film he manages to remain a constant for Captain Robinson, as all hell breaks loose. His baby face and gentle demeanor make you feel for the youngest of the bunch, as he’s not even 19 yet.

I truly thought this movie would be slow and predictable, and reading the YouTube comments on the trailer leads me to believe I am not the only one who thought so. I suppose in some ways it is, but the domino effect of actions taken by characters and the follow through left me feeling that anyone was expendable. There’s something nice about not knowing where the plot is going and who will thrive. Every main character has a definitive start and finish. A purpose to keep the well-oiled machine that is the submarine, submerged. I was on the edge of my seat trying to guess who was going to set off whom and when this person would die or would he live? It’s a guessing game and Black Sea does a good job of dragging you down in to the depths of this dark tale. It doesn’t take long to get acclimated to the lingo and surroundings (I even felt calastuerphobic for a spell) and once you start, you won’t want to stop.

Black Sea is streaming now on the following services:
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