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Crimson Tide

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: George Dzundza, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini, Matt Craven, Lillo Brancato Jr., Rocky Carroll, Steve Zahn, Rick Schroder

Review by Andrew Hicks
3 stars out of 4

Ever since moving in with a gun- and war-obsessed ROTC college roommate I've found myself despising anything associated with the military, so when I saw the opening of CRIMSON TIDE, with a bunch of naval drills and military stereotypes, I wasn't prepared to like the movie. I fully expected to give it a bad review, letting it join the ranks of other movies I've sat through for the pleasure of ripping them apart later in the form of a written review.

But I got a different kind of pleasure out of CRIMSON TIDE--and I'm not talking about what Pee Wee Herman does while watching movies either. No, I actually found myself liking this movie. Sure, it's got a very slow start. After watching it for half an hour, I was thinking Review be damned, I'm not sitting through this boring movie. That's when it grabbed me (and, again I say, this has nothing to do with Pee Wee Herman).

CRIMSON TIDE is a well-crafted thriller (except for those first thirty minutes) with plenty of drama and suspense. Gene Hackman plays a submarine captain called into action when a Russian revolt attempt poses a global nuclear threat. Denzel Washington plays the first mate (forgive me if I don't know the technical term for his position--I'm sure my roommate could tell you if he ever talked). The two come into disagreement when an Emergency Action Message dealing with their impending launch of missiles at Russia is cut off midway through the message.

Hackman, itchy macho trigger finger intact, wants to launch the missiles without full confirmation. Washington, however, realizes such an action would doom the earth to full-scale nuclear holocaust, so it might be worth waiting a few minutes to find out for sure whether or not they'll be ending history as we know it with the touch of a button. After that, the rivalry between the two takes off. You know, mutiny, death, fist fights, the stuff tense action movies are made of. And CRIMSON TIDE is a good one.

Copyright 1995 Andrew Hicks

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