Cinematic Releases: Phantom

Let's face it. Some of the best movies ever made have been movies that take place on submarines. Das Boot is one the most tension filled and dramatic pieces of cinema ever brought to the screen. The power struggle between Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide captured both men in their prime, one just starting his career and the other on the verge of retirement. And who can forget Sean Connery in The Hunt For Red October? Each of those movies had a certain essence about them that defined seamanship and the hardened life of living aboard one of those vessels.

In the case of Phantom, we get a movie that can barely keep its head above water with a confusing retread of all the movies I've listed above. Sadly, it's never even close to being as good and features one of the worst endings I've ever seen in ANY movie. The conclusion is a confused mess that takes a film that's already walking a fine line and completely vanquishes any chance of redeeming itself in the last five minutes.

Much like K-19: The Widowmaker, Phantom asks us to believe that an all American cast is the crew aboard a Russian submarine. Not only do they not look the part, but they don't even make an effort to disguise their voices. Yet, they make continuous references to Vodka and the homeland. This is their way of letting you know these guys are Russian and they love to drink.

In the case of Phantom, I would say check it out when it gets released to blu-ray. The cast is at least worth the watch. The movie stars Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner, and a bloated Sean Patrick Flanery all in completely miscast roles. But, they're all still fun to watch. You typically don't get a cast like this all in one place. So, grab your favorite vodka because this ship is going down........