Unlike the other films, K-19 - The Widowmaker is about a real incident (like the supposed Red October incident) in which a Russian nuclear submarine's reactor nearly had a catastrophic meltdown just off the eastern coast of the United States in the 1960s. Scary stuff.
As a result of this gritty reality, K-19 is powerful in a way that Titanic was powerful. It doesn't matter if the movie isn't quite realistic - the events are so horrible that tension is rife throughout the film. Or at least, it should be.
K-19's initial launch is a debacle. In short, the submarine never has a chance to be successful - the men are inexperienced and costs are cut, such that K-19's crew is lucky that it even works at all. Add in the ship's doctor getting run over by a truck, the failure of the christening bottle to break against the sub's hull, and the firing of the chief engineer and it's hard to disagree with the notion that the ship is cursed.
The new captain aboard Alexei Vostrikov, played by Harrison Ford, pushes the sub to its limits. The tension rises as he forces the crew to do random drills, forces it to dive to near crushing depths, and rise right through the arctic ice. This by far is the most exciting part of the film - there is no enemy except Vostrikov, and it's nail biting after witnessing the poor construction of K-19. Ultimately, K-19 fires its test missile, signaling a message to America that the Russians could launch a nuclear strike if they wished.Read more ›
I thought both Harrison Form and Liam Neeson did outstanding acting jobs, and yes they even made believable Russians.
I also thought the film did a good job of portraying the Russian military as human beings, rather than just the enemies we learned to despise during the Cold War.
So see this movie and leave all expectations of a history lesson at home.
The K-19 is the newest is Russian submarine technology. Capable of firing missiles up and down the American coast, the submarine and its crew set off on their maiden training mission.
The crew successfully fires the test missile, but soon another problem develops. The crew soon realizes that their nuclear reactor which powers the ship has developed a severe leak which threatens to possibly destroy the ship.
Volunteers are chosen to go inside the reactor area to try to fix the leak by welding pipes to bypass the leak, but these men soon are suffering from radiation exposure. Meanwhile, an American destroyer has come upon the crippled sub and has offered assistance. Vostrikov is determined not to seek help from the "enemy" Americans, and the K-19 does manage to contact another Russian sub and the crew is transferred.
I thought this was a very good movie. Neeson and Ford do very good jobs as the Russian captains, although I didn't care too much for the fake Russian accents. The special effects, especially the underwater shots of the K-19 are excellent. I've been a fan of submarine movies for a long time, and I rate this movie alongside others such as "U-574", "Crimson Tide", and "The Hunt for Red October". It is full of excitement and will definitely captivate you throughout.
Based on the events of a true story, the film explores the emotional drama that unfolds around Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who in 1961, at the height of the... Read more