It takes a high-brow director to deliver quality low-brow entertainment. Just look at thrillers from the 1990s. Say what you will about John McTiernan, but the man knew character as well as he knew action. “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” Philip Noyce balanced out his action resume with movies like “Rabbit Proof Fence” and the upcoming “American Pastoral.” And Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, and Richard Donner shot some of the best genre movies of that decade. So it gives me great hope that Kevin MacDonald, seasoned documentarian and occasionally solid narrative filmmaker (“The Last King of Scotland, “How I Live Now”), can turn the upcoming “Black Sea” into a down-and-dirty thriller a la the best of the '90s. Early glimpses at the film point to something along those lines.
Following the submarine thriller”s intriguing, just-the-right-amount-of-silly trailer, a new poster for “Black Sea” arrives with all the right vibes. The film centers on a rogue submarine captain (Jude Law) who wrangles a crew of dissidents to go after sunken Nazi gold resting at the bottom of the Black Sea (that”s the title!). According to the official synopsis, “as greed and desperation take control onboard their claustrophobic vessel, the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other to fight for their own survival.”
Law, a two-time Oscar nominee (Best Supporting Actor for 1999″s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and Best Actor in 2003″s “Cold Mountain), echoes MacDonald”s high/low-brow approach. Nothing earns more future awards cred and a Mcconaissance-like title then looking like a total badass in a whittled down action vehicle. Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn costar, because there”s a law that says you can”t make a movie without one of them in it.
Check out the poster below and pretend Law is the new Jack Ryan:
“Black Sea” dives into theaters Jan. 23.