Black Sea

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Jude Law. Heist caper under the sea. Written by Dennis Kelly. Directed by Kevin Macdonald.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Captain Robinson (Jude Law in a solid performance) is let go from his position as a submarine commander for a huge underwater salvage company. Feeling abandoned by a company with no heart (according to him), he seeks revenge. So, he and some put-upon buddies get financing from an underworld figure in order to purchase and fix up a dilapidated sub and go find a fortune the Nazis abandoned when their U-Boat was sunk during WW2.

Offering his new crew equal shares only causes problems. Some get the bright idea that if one or more donít survive the journey, more gold for them.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I admit to getting caught up in the tense action and Lawís performance (pretty good). But of course, when I see a film containing around 80 uses of the f-word, you know Iíve got to complain. It always saddens me that artistically the f-word is employed as a stress-reliever for nearly every character written in Hollywood. Okay, Iím sure that word comes up from time to time among sailors. But in a flashback, even the wife of the commander uses it in her one scene. Everyone uses it. And in case youíre not bothered by that particular obscenity, how about the profaning of Godís name or the misuse of Jesusí name? (It baffles me why we Christians support movies containing the profane use of our saviorís name.) True, if we didnít put up with that spiritual offense, we wouldnít see many films.

While Black Sea is a heist caper, it also has a moral to it. Well, kinda. The captain has become bitter that others grow rich while he and his comrades have been put upon by the man. Yet, when huge amounts of money are involved, he finds himself just as greedy and self-centered as anyone in the 1%. Will he learn his lesson by filmís end? Well, kinda.

The film does have a sanctity of life message, well, kinda. The captain gets upset each time one of his crew kills another member. And there is a moment when he performs an unselfish act. Well, kinda.

Itís not really as profound as the filmmakers would have us believe. But Black Sea is diverting. And suspenseful. And well-acted. But in the end, weíve subjected ourselves to another filmed story that relies heavily on R-rated content. I find that objectionable, both spiritually and creatively. Iím also baffled at how often the Nazis left a great treasure behind only to be found by a rag-tag group whoíve been put upon by the man.

DVD Alternatives: Run Silent, Run Deep. Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable star as officers at odds in this tense, well-made submarine drama.

Operation Petticoat. On a lighter side, this Cary Grant/Tony Curtis action/comedy has the crew of a WW2 sub taking on a gaggle of stranded nurses.

Iíd say pass on the 1966 Frank Sinatra feature, Assault on a Queen. In this heist caper wherein Olí Blue Eyes and his gang attempt to pirate the Queen Mary, the characters are almost as stiff as the dialogue. In one scene, Frank expresses his feelings for the gangís moll, played by Virna Lisi, with the following: ďShe so deep in my gut, we breathe together.Ē I always liked the Chairman of the Boardís Ring-a-Ding patter, but that line is a cringe-r.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: Around 80 uses of the f-word, plus several others, including countless uses of the s-word.

Profanity: Three profane uses of Godís name and at least seven times, Christís name is taken in vain.

Violence: One man is stabbed to death; another falls to his death; several are burned to death in explosions (pretty graphic); several other deaths.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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