This file was generated 2003-01-16 21:09 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2003-01-07.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 1998 >> The Hunt for Red October
Tom Clancy novels are packed with detail. I remember him taking three pages as he described in very clinical terms the process of a submarine sinking. Filter out the detail, and you still get exciting stories. This one has survived its conversion to a movie very well. The pacing is excellent throughout, and the story takes enough interesting turns to keep the audience engrossed. Of course, this was directed by John McTiernan, whose previous movie was Die Hard. Good pacing is the least you'd expect.
The military men here are spearheaded by the ever-popular Sean Connery. Connery, especially with a beard, is precisely the kind of man to convince us of Ramius's intelligence, charm, and skill. Alec Baldwin is perhaps at his least mockable as Jack Ryan, excepting his turn two years later in Glengarry Glen Ross. If I were a desk jockey in that kind of situation, though, I think I'd break a little more sweat.
Roughly half the characters in this movie are Russian. Most of the actors achieve accents that are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Russian. We're talking about some very talented cast members, but they probably didn't work too hard with a diction coach to get believable. It's not a major hindrance, but it's a little strange on the ears. I do have to wonder how the extras on Red October learned the Soviet anthem. Some look less than convinced that they know what they're singing.