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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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The Hunt for Red October 
All in all, a mind-blowing film!
3.5/4 stars

The Hunt for Red October(1984) was the debut novel of now renowned thriller writer, Tom Clancy and is generally considered to be a landmark novel in the espionage/thriller genre. This film, which is more or less a faithful rendition of the novel on screen, while in no way the masterpiece the novel was, is no doubt a brilliant piece of cinema and a welcome change from the usual thriller film involving guns and/or explosive, often glorified violence. There is a more intellectual side to the Hunt for Red October. It tells the tale of a cat-and-mouse chase that takes place beneath the ocean surfaces, involving nuclear submarines and the tension that nearly threatens to bring the world to the threshold of nuclear war. Sean Connery, well-known as the first portrayer of James Bond on the big screen, steps away from the classic mold of the suave and sophisticated secret agent in his old age, and instead portrays a Russian naval officer, Captain Marko Ramius, who is disillusioned with the Soviet state and wishes to defect to the US, bringing along with him the latest Soviet ballistic missile sub, the Red October, as a goodwill gesture. Alec Balwin, the other lead actor of this film is no James Bond either. Far from being a hardened professional trigger happy spy, his character Jack Ryan is a family man and an ordinary joe whose only link to the obscure world of espionage is through his job as a CIA analyst. However, Ryan's theories regarding Ramius's defection to the US soon result in him having to take a more active role; whilst trying to determine Ramius's true intentions. He is a flawed hero, having doubts about his abilities and being slow to get the answers, though he does so eventually. There are a lot of exciting submarine chase scenes and even a shootout during the climax but ultimately, this movie is dominated by its brilliant plot and it is the web of deceptive strategy spun by the protagonists that keeps your eyes glued to the screen.


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