Friday, March 01, 2013
The choice of new Friday movies went from “Jack The Giant Slayer”, which I was told to avoid, “21 and Over” which I didn’t have to be told to avoid, “The Last Exorcism Part 2”, and after avoiding Part 1 why would I bother? The only new movie that had any interest, more because of the actors than the subject, was “Phantom”, which is based on a true story about a Russian submarine in 1968 planning to fire on a U. S. ship hoping to start World War 3 between China and the U. S. their biggest competitors.
We were the only 2 people in the auditorium so it was like a private showing but that didn’t help much. It is a comparatively short movie--97 minutes--covering a lot but making it a little hard to figure out what was going on. At one point I thought one of the actors had been killed and there he was in the next scene, though in profile, and Allen had to tell me it was him. None of the actors use a Russian accent which is a blessing especially when it comes to scientific angles of what is going on. There are some flashbacks which aren’t clearly edited and neither is the ending.
The director/screenwriter, Todd Robinson, isn’t exactly clear on what is happening when, or why, but most of the actors come through for him with Ed Harris doing the best job. David Duchovny seems out of place, not quite comfortable playing the KGB agent. The supporting cast is made up of many familiar faces who always give their all including William Fichter, Jason Beghe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Johnathon Schaech, Lance Henriksen and Julian Adams. They are actors that you will constantly ask yourself, “I know them but from where?” and are interesting to watch. Dagmara Dominczyk and Tessa Robinson play brief roles.
In no way is “Phantom” in the same class as “Das Boots” , “Run Silent, Run Deep” or “The Hunt For Red October” but I have a feeling it is a better movie than the other ones that opened today