Monday, July 22, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 157


'K-19' sinks into a swamp of inconsistencies, bad acting

By Heather Nicholson
The Daily Cougar

No matter how appealing another Cold War movie with heavy star power might seem, don't be tempted. K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison
Ford and Liam Neeson, is a big, stinky bomb.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In K-19: The Widowmaker Liam Neeson (left) and Harrison Ford portray captains of a flawed submarine. The film, which is based on a true story, fails to accurately portray the events that occurred at the height of the Cold War.

Speaking of a bomb, that is exactly what this movie claims to be about. It resembles Pearl Harbor, with its moral lessons of duty and courage, more
than the thrills of Hunt for Red October.

The story is inspired by actual events that occurred during the Cold War and are now being revealed because of the fall of communism. K-19 was an
actual Russian submarine that carried nuclear warheads out to sea for testing. A few unlucky mishaps occurred, and the sub gained its pet name as
the 'widowmaker.'

The only thing interesting about this movie is the perspective from which the story is told, in Russian. The film portrays Russian camaraderie and the
effects of American propaganda on the Russian public. The movie also tries to give insight to why we are hated as a country.

Cold War movies usually portray Russia as the ugly, red ghoul of communism and America as the political savior. K-19, however, tells the story of a
motherland in which everything is equal and done for the good of the group and where Americans boast greed, waste and anti-civil rights acts. 

Harrison Ford collected a hefty $25 million check for his role as Captain Alexei Vostrikov. He attempted a Russian accent throughout the film, but it
faltered frequently.

Why would Russians even speak English to each other unless an American movie is made with American actors for an American audience?

The movie should have been in Russian with English subtitles if the moviemakers wished to achieve true authenticity. Nothing about this film sets it
apart from all the other action dramas that are made solely to break records.

In fact, one of the true survivors of K-19, Yury Mukhin, told Variety magazine that the movie portrays the crew "as a bunch of stupid, disrespectful,
eternally drunk Soviet sailors who played cards as the alarms were sounding." To say the least, Soviet submariners are upset with the script,
claiming that the Intermedia Films production insults them and has overlooked technical details.

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