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Thursday, April 20, 2000
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Volume 65, Issue 137

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U-571 delivers more than just good looks


U-571

Universal Pictures
Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi 
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Grade: A-


By Erica Shillings
Daily Cougar Staff

U-571 is set in World War II. Hitler's U-boats have brought war to the United States. Allied shipping is being interrupted all along the East Coast. Unable to crack the U-boat radio codes, the U.S. Navy plans a mission to capture a top-secret Nazi decoding device from a German submarine.

Leading the mission is Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), who selects Lt. Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey) and his division for the job. Among them are fellow Navy officers Lt. Pete Emmett (Jon Bon Jovi) and Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel) along with the many enlisted men under their command.


Matthew McConaughey

But just when the crew thinks they have succeeded in their attempt, their own submarine is destroyed. Chaos breaks loose and the nine surviving men are forced to take cover in the enemy's vessel.

From then on, the intensity rises, fueled by the fact that everything on the U-boat is in German and only one man understands how to operate the submarine. Every encounter is a do-or-die situation.

But it's not just the mission that is involved. Lt. Andrew Tyler, the executive officer under Dahlgren, had just been passed up for an advancement that would have put him in command of his own submarine. 

Dahlgren kept Lt. Tyler from the promotion because he wanted to be sure that he understood the demands of being a commander. Lt. Tyler would find out the lessons of bravery and never giving up during this mission.

Another difficulty is that the crew could be killed at any moment because no one knows their identity. Problems arise every minute when they come in contact with anyone, whether friend or foe, and they are faced with having to blow up their own ships in order to save themselves.

The possibilities are endless of what might happen to these men in their attempts to survive. This will be the test of their lives -- can they survive in an underwater coffin?

Writer/director Jonathan Mostow paints an amazing picture with the fictional story he has written on the lives of this crew. He captures the realistic emotions and shows a good look inside these brave men during this deadly assignment.

Normally I would pass up a war film, but U-571 has a solid story line, good special effects and great action scenes. Everyone in the cast does an outstanding job, but Matthew McConaughey's performance was the most impressive. McConaughey brings more to the screen than just his good looks; his acting in this film could be award-winning. 

U-571 is a guy movie because of all the explosions and gun shots, but I think women are going to enjoy it as well. If you like a good suspenseful war movie full of drama, this is the movie for you. U-571 opens Friday in theaters everywhere.
 

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