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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > U-571

MOVIE REVIEWS

U-571  (2000)

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, David Keith, Thomas Kretschmann, Jake Weber, Jack Noseworthy, Tom Guiry, Will Estes, Terrence "T.C." Carson, Erik Palladino and Dave Power.

Screenplay by Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery and David Ayer.

Directed by Jonathan Mostow.

Distributed by Universal Pictures.  116 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

 

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U-571

Iím not sure why this movie was made in the year 2000.   Not that itís a horrible movie.  It isnít.  But it is such an anachronism that it is hard to understand how it got green-lighted. 

This is the story of a group of World War II American cadets who are stuck on a damaged German submarine that they had captured after their own vessel is torpedoed.  Matthew McConaughey is very good if overly solemn in the starring role of the American captain (he literally does not smile once in this film, not even during the early R&R scenes).  The rest of the crew is made up of a bunch of generic stoic but oh-so-handsome cadets, including rock star Jon Bon Jovi (nearly unrecognizable here) and one not-so-handsome chief (Harvey Keitel.) 

They try to spice things up with a bunch of Bruckheimer/Simpson type loud explosions, but that just points out further that a submarine is just a big, slow, uninteresting machine.  It is hard to even get a rooting interest, because the filmmakers assume that we know that Nazis are evil, but the crew is so cut off from the rest of the world that we have no way of seeing this.  They show a few things that they do which are bad but acts of war, but the evilness of Germany is never given any context in the film. 

Little plot points make no sense, either.  Why, for example, would the Nazis be so relentless in tracking their own submarine when the Allied Forces let it slip away with only cursory damage after it torpedoed an ocean liner?

U-571 is of interest to war buffs only, and even they could see a better film just by renting Das BŲŲt.  Otherwise, it seems like a quaint little time capsule that has little connection to the modern world. (4/00)

Jay S. Jacobs

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