This has probably come up before, but if you don’t know, I love submarine movies. I’ll watch ANY submarine movie— even the shitty ones. In my DVD collection downstairs, I own a copy of Crash Dive. Never heard of it? You and everyone else. I’m pretty sure I may have the only copy in existence. These submarine movies are full of the same overdone tropes that I cannot get enough of. The suspense from staying quiet, the stalking of your enemy, entire scenes bathed in red, the inevitable line of dialogue “We need to go deeper," to which the crew looks at the captain, stunned.
The cast is great. With many different actors playing Jack Ryan, Alec Baldwin is by far my favorite. I know that Jack Ryan isn’t supposed to be Bond-like, but to me Baldwin is. He’s not the trained killer that Bond is, but he’s got this smoothness that only Baldwin seems to get. Speaking of Bond— he’s in charge of a submarine now! Playing opposite Baldwin is the equally cool Sean Connery as Marko Ramius. Watching it recently, I realized you are really watching two movies. One starring Baldwin, the other with Connery, and when they eventually meet at the climax of the movie, the two of them are great together. There is a moment where Connery is teaching Baldwin to steer a submarine that is so perfect I want to punch something!
Red October still holds up for me now 26 years after its initial release. It helps you understand a complex plot and scenario just enough that you walk away from it feeling like you know more and you were entertained while doing it. It’s a political drama plot that landed a submarine movie in it, and added an action movie to the end. There are so many intense moments in Red October that you only get in something like a submarine movie. The long periods of quiet, the waiting and patience that it takes to build to tiny moments -- it makes something as sterile as driving a submarine seem like the coolest thing ever. There is a scene where a plane has shot a torpedo at the Red October and they are dodging it while in a deep water canyon that should be boring but it’s shot and paced in a way that even now watching it I still get anxious. The last few minutes Red October takes all the different story lines and themes and brings them all together. The murder mystery, the political drama, and the war movie all slam together at the end to make one kick ass 20 minutes with bullets and torpedoes flying.