U-571

Bomb Rating: 

There's zero character development in this film, and everything else is stolen from "Das Boot."

About 60 minutes of the 110-minute running time of this film involves somebody dropping depth charges on somebody else. So if you're really into big explosions and wide-eyed guys looking up at the ceiling, this film is for you.

The story involves a mission to recover an "Enigma" machine, which would allow the United States to decode German transmissions and move against the Nazis more effectively during World War II. Assigned to this mission are Lt. Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) and a whole lot of other people who either get shot or blown up when the U.S. submarine goes down and Tyler's crew is forced to man the German sub they've boarded. Since McConaughey is the best-looking of all these people and looks especially good wet, he's left alive to lead the mission.

Whatever happens to the guy who's actually in charge, Coonan (David Keith), is anybody's guess. He probably gets shot, but for all we know David Copperfield makes him disappear. Suddenly, he's just gone. Equally wacky is the captain (Bill Paxton), who teaches Tyler the meaning of sacrifice by waving good-bye as he drowns. Valiant, but it's a lot more likely he'd be screaming "throw me a fucking rope" at the top of his lungs.

After that it's all about depth charges and making the depth charges stop. On board with Tyler are Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel), a bunch of young kids, and the black cook, Eddie (T.C. Carson), who somehow becomes proficient at operating the submarine. Thank God for the United States that everyone aboard this vessel is a crack shot too. The Germans couldn't hit the water if they jumped off the side of the boat, but Tyler and crew could shoot the lapels off a Nazi from 100 paces blindfolded. There's zero character development in this film, and everything else is stolen from "Das Boot." Not exactly what you'd call original filmmaking.

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