Submarine movies are certainly not for the claustrophobic. It makes you appreciate those early submariners who hunted their prey beneath the waves while breathing stored air and only occasionally breaking for the surface.
These movies were once almost their own genre in Hollywood with “Das Boot” and “The Hunt for Red October” being among the most popular recent offerings.
In addition to its Cold War setting, “Phantom” hearkens back to this period with a slow tense pacing made claustrophobic with the setting far beneath the water’s surface.
As the sub commander, Ed Harris (“Pollock”) continues to command any screen he’s put in front of with a combination of gravitas and depth. David Duchovny (“The X-Files” and "Californication") is surprisingly good in his return to a serious role.
Even so, the movie doesn’t quite come together in a way to justify the talent involved. The pacing remains slow early on and the story itself feels unpolished.
On the whole, “Phantom” is an entertaining little movie. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but is certainly worth watching.
- John Geddie wonders who came up with the idea of submarines anyway.
Opening; “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “Dead Man Down”