U-571 (2000)

Think of every major movie where the action centered on a submarine — now add every cliche and a dash of boredom and U-571 is your dish.

The movie centers around the launch to retrieve the German coding during the later stages of WWII and the brave men and women who risked their lives and honor out of duty for their fellow man. This sounds like a great premise for a movie but why must it be fictionalized and steamed for mobile suspense when I’m sure there are many heart-pounding stories of courage that are true. You’d also think with every major cliche of the action world that U-571 would at least be able to stand to its feet for excitement but it’s quite easy to doze off on this underwater snoozer. The characters are all one-in-the-same that I had to identify them by haircut and height in order to know who was who at all times. And when some of them died it took me awhile to process which one it was.

U-571 is full of every old and new Hollywood convention itself that adds nothing to the story or enjoyment as a whole. The up and coming leader is advised he doesn’t “have the stuff to let a man go in order to save others” so let’s try and guess what position he will ultimately be put into. Why is the only black man in the movie a jive-talking chef and why does he jump at the controls and knows what to do INSTANTLY trouble’s afoot. I guess a nuclear submarine and engineering physics is so closely related to spices and stews. Of course everyone’s favorite bad guys (say it with me now together “Germans are always evil”) are in the middle and slaughter a whole group of sea-faring survivors just for the hell of it. Why do they do this? Because they’re Germans, and they have to be more evil so they kill innocent people.

U-571 isn’t a terrible movie, it does hold some credible acting and set designs to bring the look and feel of the 1940s to breathing life. The effects are well done but are sporadically used. Most of the tale takes place about trying to get past one Destroyer – just one. Two hours of this? U-571 may be a prelude to the summer, and if it is it’s going to be a long long movie season.

Nate’s Grade: C

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on April 17, 2000, in 2000 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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