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11th Aug 2018

Gerard Butler’s new action movie might be the most poorly-timed film ever to be released

Dave Hanratty

“Did we just start a war?”

“No, but we might have sailed into one.”

Sorry, what?

There’s a lot going on in the trailer for Hunter Killer aka Gerard Butler’s latest ‘fuck shit up’ enterprise.

From an unproven director and the writers behind the likes of Street Kings and Ghost In The Shell (the bad one), and a producer of the original RoboCop, Hunter Killer has been in the works since late 2015.

It officially started shooting in the summer of 2016, which explains the presence of late Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) in the cast.

Based on the 2012 novel Firing Point, the film finds an untested American submarine captain (Butler) teaming with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.

Sounds fairly tame, and then you see the trailer and its ’80s action movie depiction of American/Russian relations.

Arriving during a period when said relationship is all a bit shaky, to say the least, doesn’t really feel like the perfect time to release a movie like this, but here we are.

Clip via Lionsgate Movies

Going through the above trailer beat by beat feels like a fool’s errand, but we’ve come this far. Some highlights:

Common – who provided tremendous presence as a respected rival in John Wick: Chapter Two – looks utterly lost when introduced early doors:

Common Hunter Killer

He’s done this kind of generic military grunt work before in the dreadful Terminator: Salvation, so it’s equally frustrating seeing the guy slumming it here.

Gary Oldman Hunter Killer

Wait, is that recent Academy Award winner Gary Oldman? In a cheap xenophobic run-of-the-mill actioner? Surely not.

Gerard Butler Hunter Killer

Ah, there he is. There’s the man.

Butler loves movies like these. The conflicted hero.

Whether it’s viciously torturing people and throwing out racist dialogue like, “Go back to Fuckheadistan!” in London Has Fallen or milling around like a buff Jigsaw in Law Abiding Citizen, Butler loves getting his hands dirty.

Hunter Killer appears to be presenting a more noble side of the actor’s considerable range, as he attempts to rescue the Russian president and prove once and for all that America is the biggest superpower the world has ever known.

Apart from that, you get about five generous fistfuls of clichés, some very ‘affordable’ looking computer effects and that horrible flat colour scheme and general lifeless feeling that marks ‘wait for it on Netflix if you’re going to bother at all’ fare.

And it’s released at the start of November, so just in time to mark two years of Donald Trump‘s rise to power.