Mark, you're not alone in just reading the submarine warfare parts. I was obsessed for a while after Das Boot at that stuff. Submarine Warfare is like 4D Chess. It's tied together with Star Trek battles in like Wrath of Kahn. Just usually translates to sweaty dudes staring at screens! The best.
I also think this is a perfect movie! Though I watched it too many times last year and it kind of unraveled a bit. I can't think of any other movies about two A teams working together like this. (If anyone knows of any, please recommend.) I tried watching Patriot Games but I found it to be nothing like this one at all. I know you say Alec Baldwin is like a man but he kind of reads as "boyish" to me (even now- as a white haired guy with a ton of kids), whereas Harrison Ford always reads as "Dad". Can you imagine that meeting scene at the end? Alec Baldwin's so boyscout like "Wow this is so cool! You guys are my heroes!" I feel like Harrison Ford would be like "Good. I'm glad this is settled. Now we can all get back to being grumpy, smart-aleck dads as soon as possible. Why does this keep happening to me."I crushed on the Russian sub technician when I watched this. I love that character. It's a small supporting role but he was clearly the one making their team seem cool, not uptight. They put him in a cool red jumpsuit distinguishing him from everyone else, emphasizing his height and shoulders, he's the only one with chill, non-military posture, unfazed by everyone's drama, and the only one with a physical labor job, not just looking at maps and screens, and, of course, he's the badass,the who gets to tell the captain "Negative..." and is crucial to the plan. I don't know how to explain this but, I just appreciate when a movie gets a character like that right. It checks a box for me.
This is one of those movies for me that if I'm channel surfing and see that it's on, I have to stop and watch it, even though I own it on Blu-ray and can watch it anytime :)