Hunt for Red October, The

1990 · Paramount Pictures
Hunt for Red October, The — Movie Review by Karthik
9 out of 10
Directing Credits
John McTiernan
Writing Credits
Based on the novel by Tom Clancy; Screenplay by Larry Ferguson and Donald Stewart
Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones, Joss Ackland, Tim Curry, Courtney B Vance, Stellan Skarsgård

The Review

It is 1984 and there is something in the seas that poses a new threat to world peace — it is a Russian submarine called the Red October, a stealth vessel with nuclear capability.  The CIA obtains photographs of the vessel showing some unusual doors on its sides, and it is later realised that the Red October possesses a revolutionary propulsion system called the Caterpillar Drive, that makes it virtually undetectable by SONAR!  This means the submarine could actually silently deploy nuclear missiles all along the US coastline without anyone knowing about it until it is too late.

The Red October is under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), and on its maiden voyage, the Captain informs the Russian government that he is intending to defect to the United States.  The Russians immediately panic, and send out a whole fleet of ships to find and capture Ramius, while declaring to the US government that Ramius has gone mad and intends to start a nuclear war.  The US government also wants to find the submarine, mostly because they want the technology, but even inspite of CIA analyst Jack Ryan's (Alec Baldwin) suspicions about Ramius's defection, the Captain's real intentions are unclear.  With escalating tensions on both sides, the "Hunt for Red October" is on!

What a terrific film this is!  I remember watching this movie in the theatre when I was seven or eight years old, and though I was too young to understand the intricacies of the plot, I did like the movie.  Watching it now, this adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel is a superb thriller.  It has a great story and a great cast (Sean Connery, in particular, captures the screen every moment he is on it!), and director John McTiernan keeps building the suspense steadily.  Make no mistake, this movie looks and feels like a big-budget action blockbuster, though the thrills are largely story-driven.  After making what is possibly one of the best action films of all time (Die Hard, 1988), one would expect nothing less from McTiernan.

The photography (Jan De Bont) is awesome, and contributes the requisite amount of style and gloss to the proceedings.  The film features a superb music score by Basil Poledouris.  Basil Poledouris, who sadly, passed away recently, is, in my opinion, truly one of the great film composers — who can forget his dramatic RoboCop theme, or the depth and richness of his music from Conan the Barbarian, which added to much of the "feel" of the film itself!  Here he contributes a rousing score as well, and the theme of the film that plays under the opening credits ("The Hymn for Red October") is unforgettable.

As I mentioned earlier, the film is largely story-driven, so might seem slow-moving to some.  But trust me, once you get into the film, you'll find it hard to let go.  All said and done, The Hunt for Red October is a great movie, and I loved it every step of the way.  "The Hunt is On" indeed!

More Details

Running Time: 135 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Thriller

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 17 Dec 06
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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