Kevin C. Wong

Movie - Crimson Tide (1995) [+]

Crimson Tide is a modern-day submarine thriller. After ultra-nationalists seize a Russian nuclear base the USS Alabama, a ballistic missile submarine, is sent to the North Pacific. Captain Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) is a veteran submariner saddled with a new XO, Lt Commander Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington), an Annapolis graduate though with several tours under his belt. As Ramsey puts it, in his day it only mattered that he'd be willing to launch his missiles while today's submariners are taught to think about why.

Anyway, Captain Ramsey and Commander Hunter continue to butt heads, though nothing serious. For example, Hunter objects when Captain Ramsey runs a missile drill just after a kitchen fire threatens the boat whilst Captain Ramsey took it as an opportunity to do training under realistic conditions.

They get orders to launch a nuclear attack on the rebel base but have to fight off an enemy attack submarine which damages their radio after they receive a half of a second message. Commander Hunter wants to confirm the message, which he thinks may be a recall order. Captain Ramsey is not going to jeopardize Alabama when there's an enemy sub hunting them so wants to launch now and exfiltrate. When Hunter refuses to countersign the launch orders Captain Ramsey tries to relieve Hunter which apparently he can't do in this instance (as a safety check both top officers must agree to launch the missiles) so instead Commander Hunter relieves Captain Ramsey and takes command.

There's more of the sub battle vs the Akula. Then Ramsey takes back the boat with an armed party and Hunter plus a few loyalists have to stop Ramsey before he launches...

It's a tense movie with great acting. Great submarine action and atmosphere. It's one of my favorite movies.