A team of disgruntled salvage workers uses an old submarine to find a
sunken U-boat full of gold, but an accident strands them on the seabed.
Black Sea (2014)
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Written by Dennis Kelly
Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn,
Bobby Schofield, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Michael Smiley,
David Threlfall, Sergey Puskepalis, Sergey Kolesnikov
Black Sea is a tense thriller that's built on the purest of sins: Man's greed. When faced with the choice between the lives of the few and a few million in gold, many of us like to think we'd make the noble choice. But let's be honest, very few of us would. Jude Law delivers a fantastic performance, channeling a bit of Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, as well as a percentage of Scrooge McDuck for good measure. He's a man on the end of his tether looking at the possibility of cheating his old employers out of millions. But rarely does the universe offer us something so incredible without asking for everything in return.
Law plays Robinson, a lifelong Navy man and salvage worker who is fired from his job. While drinking his sorrows with his mates, Robinson hears about a sunken U-boat off the coast of Georgia that's supposedly loaded with Nazi gold, and no ship can get to it because of territorial disputes. He gets funding from a mystery benefactor and puts together a crew of 12, half British and half Russian, to find the gold. But the crew is volatile from the start, and the sub is half-dead already. Once they're underwater, chaos ensues and suddenly, it's not about the gold, it's about survival. Until, of course, it's about the gold once again. The crew all deliver great performances, particularly Ben Mendelsohn as the mentally unhinged Fraser. You really get an understanding of their need for a big score, as well as their intense fear when shit starts sinking.
Black Sea didn't make any waves upon its 2014 release, but I hope it finds new life on Netflix. It's a brilliantly crafted thriller in the style of Hitchcock, and it never lets you take a breather once its going. The film makes you feel as tightly trapped as the crew, and when the gold fever sets in, you feel conflicted yourself. It's a film that definitely deserves a second look.