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Black Sea


Stars: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies, Konstantin Kobensky, Sergey Puskepalis, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Michael Smiley, Jodie Whittaker

Director: Kevin Macdonald

A combination of submarine drama and caper movie, as unwanted ex-sub captain Robinson (Law) finds himself drawn into a plan to retrieve millions in gold bullion in a u-boat at the bottom of the Black Sea.

The backer will take 40 per cent of the ill-gotten gains, with the remainder going to Cap'n Jude and his scurvy crew, aboard the rustbucket submarine to which they find themselves assigned.

Inevitable disputes between the Russian and English-speaking elements aboard soon lead to sudden death, to the horror of the backer's rep (McNairy), whose own true colours will be revealed before the end.

Despite generating considerable excitement and suspense en route, director Macdonald opts for a highly contrived and somewhat anti-climactic conclusion to the tall tale; I guess an upbeat ending was considered not in keeping with the generally grim proceedings.

Law is good and his Scottish accent solid enough, but top honours are, not for the first time, stolen by bedraggled Australian actor Mendelsohn as a short-fused, almost impossibly evil villain.

David Quinlan

USA/UK/Australia 2014. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Cinelab.
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 02 Dec 2014