Sub Down

Asubmarine trapped under the polar ice cap in the Bering Strait sounds like an exciting concept --- throw in a couple of scientists and a beautiful whale-watcher and there's a hook --- but "Sub Down" sinks under the weight of silliness and cliches.

With:
Cast: Stephen Baldwin, Gabrielle Anwar, Tom Conti, Chris Mulkey, Tony Plana, Joe Dain, Chris Taaffe Connolly, Eugene Williams, Matt Kennedy, Paul Abbott, Joel Traywick, Michael Caradonna, Doug McKeon.

Asubmarine trapped under the polar ice cap in the Bering Strait sounds like an exciting concept — throw in a couple of scientists and a beautiful whale-watcher and there’s a hook — but “Sub Down” sinks under the weight of silliness and cliches.

Stephen Baldwin toplines as some kind of scientist who’s “fun” and “cool”: The audience can tell this by his loud-print shirts, goofy Dutch-boy haircut and snarky anti-military attitude. He’s joined by fellow researchers Tom Conti and Gabrielle Anwar on board the USS Portland.

All is well — the researchers are researching, the sub crew is horsing around — when a Russian sub collides with the Portland and it sinks to the bottom of the sea. Well, it’s a big ocean, but darnit if two random subs don’t collide. You gotta hate it when that happens.

Unfortunately, the inherent drama in a submarine movie seems to have left the building, and the script by Howard Chesley is monumentally uninvolving.

But warning No. 1 comes right at the beginning: The director is credited as Alan Smithee. Uh-oh.

Baldwin smirks his way through with a wink, and Chris Mulkey, as the sub’s commander, valiantly tries to find a character. Anwar and Conti try, try, try, but ultimately, “Sub Down” drowns.

Stefano Mainetti’s music overwhelms; underwater effects and Hiro Narita’s photography are OK.

Sub Down

(Wed. (19), 9-11 p.m., USA)

Production: Filmed in Luxembourg by Muraglia/Sladek Filmworks, Carousel Picture Co. in association with USA Networks. Executive producers, Tom Reeve, Romain Schroeder; producers, Silvio Muraglia, Daniel Sladek, Howard Chesley; director, Alan Smithee; writer, Chesley from a story by Muraglia, Sladek and Chesley.

Crew: Camera, Hiro Narita; editor, Cary Shott; art director, Peter Powis; arctic and underwater effects director, Rolf Buegler; sound director, Marc Fishman; music, Stefano Mainetti.

Cast: Cast: Stephen Baldwin, Gabrielle Anwar, Tom Conti, Chris Mulkey, Tony Plana, Joe Dain, Chris Taaffe Connolly, Eugene Williams, Matt Kennedy, Paul Abbott, Joel Traywick, Michael Caradonna, Doug McKeon.Camera, Hiro Narita; editor, Cary Shott; art director, Peter Powis; arctic and underwater effects director, Rolf Buegler; sound director, Marc Fishman; music, Stefano Mainetti.

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