In Enemy Hands
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This is a fabulous film that superficially is about WW2 submarine warfare (and yes you can see there's a lot of low-rent sets...especially the interior shots of the American submarine). In Enemy Hands is the best male-ensemble war film since Platoon...& maybe better. It isn't William Gacy's best effort(he seems to throw off his lines like an aging hipster)
& perhaps it's because Til Schweiger absolutely steals the film with his nuanced deeply effective performance of the U-boat Captain.
What I think is truly subversive is the metaphor- in this case meningitis that affects the American crew and later contaminates the German crew which has rescued the them. You don't have to dig deep (or think too hard) to find that this is an anti-war film on the surface and a clever way of critiquing America's influence
and culture throughout the world. The film id's it as a disease- a fatal disease that infects all.
And it's somewhat of a trojan horse in that it masquerades as the familiar genre of naval warfare films.
Look closely- the German actors are wonderful to look at...they look healthy...the Americans? Wimpy, non-descript, outside of the head bangin'banty-rooster American sub commander.
This is a hidden gem of a film- perhaps too subtle for a mass-audience of film goers. If you've taken a good film history class or studied acting- I think you'll be blown away.
This film must be taken for what it is, I think. A showcase for W.H. Macy (his acting is not superficial, nor are his interactions with his wife, whom he had to leave as Chief on the U.S.S. Swordfish). Sure, the numbers and names of ships are all wrong. Did NO Kapitän-Leutnant serve underwater with his blue tunic on, as suggested by one reviewer? This is a good introduction to Til Schweiger, who really is of matinee-idol stature and appearance, as Captain of one U-Boat, and the first watch officer (Thomas Kretschmann) really shows his acting talents....compeletely different in Stalingrad, The Pianist, U-571. Perhaps Mr. Macy was not challenged by the role, and the meningitis outbreak is unbelieveable....but aren't movies unbelieveable. Do they not require suspension of disbelief, even the best?
I did not expect the Barry Lyndon of U-Boat movies. The sets are too wide, the U.S. sub is too brightly lit...but the "best set" film has been done (Das Boot) and took a year to film (see the Director's Cut DVD). Other criticisms are hollow...the flag, the seaman appearing to wear a modern German Navy tunic (I have seen them, I do not think so, but it is a brief shot. At least no one is wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers! And the back and forth between Macy and Kretschmann (Captaincy shifting back and forth depending on the conditions and likelihood of being captured by Americans or Germans--all within a few hundrend miles of the U.S.Read more ›
This low-budget film (by Artisan and others) about the two WW2 submalines and their crew has one interesting idea at its core, but fails to make good use of it. In 1943, USS Swordfish Lt. led by Cmdr Randall Sullivan (Caan) encounters its enemy ship, German U-Boat U-429 led by Kaptain Jonas Herdt (Schweiger).
The film then shows one intriguing premise -- What if the crew of the boats share the same submarine; what if they must join force to survive the situations that get more and more deadly to them?
Sadly writer/director Tony Giglio fails to find the best method to develop this idea. You know, in this case, you need lively, interesting characters to engage our attention. Instead, Giglio assembled the used materials from other submarine films, and patched them up to cover the whole 98 minutes. You can hear the echoes of other better films -- I don't name names -- when you see the mutiny/hostage situation, and occasional torpedo attacks. And you also get one epidemic, too, which is too conviniently introduced.
William H Macy and Thomas Kretschmann, both playing the officers under command of Caan and Schweiger respectively, are doing their best, but it is obvious that the acting is nowhere near their best. And as to ill-used Lauren Holly (who was also ill-used in 'Down Periscope'), and Jeremy Sisto whose character is reduced to a pixel, I have nothing to say except that they deserve much better roles than these.
I don't say 'In Enemy Hands' is badly done. It just lacks originality.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good WWII movie, I'd be willing to bet that this could happen.Published 4 months ago by lostintexass
Just an OK movie to spend an hour + watching, better than most, but I wouldn't buy it to see it.Published 4 months ago by William Breen
Far too predictable and a bit of a waste of some good actors, especially William H. Macy.Published 4 months ago by Pam G
The story is too contrived and the ending is ridiculous. You can't sink a sub by firing five inch shells into the air and having them land on a submerged sub and blow it up. Read morePublished 5 months ago by jeff haugan
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