Black Sea

WRITTEN BY: Dennis Kelly 
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Macdonald
STARRING: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Bobby Schofield, Grigoriy Dobrygin
RATING: 3 stars

When he is made redundant from his job in submarine salvaging, Captain Robinson (Jude Law) takes on a new secret mission to search the Black Sea for a sunken World War Two submarine rumoured to be full of gold. He creates a team made up of Britons, Russians and an Aussie. What begins as an exciting adventure, soon turns to a fight for survival as Robinson's crew start to unravel. 

Black Sea is far-fetched, too long and drags in some parts, but other scenes are intense and suspenseful. There will surely be a few times when you will feel slightly claustrophobic. The film is certainly not original in its themes, but it is still an interesting psychological thriller as the characters are pitted against each other when things start to go wrong. For some, racial tensions flare, while others become greedy for the treasure after years of bitterness about working for the man. Law's character is the most developed and he is very good as the commanding leader. Ben Mendelsohn plays a thrilling wild card diver named Fraser, who is great at his job but ruffles a few too many feathers along the way. Scoot McNairy is the weasel “banker” sent along on the mission by the financier, while Gregoriy Dobrygin plays the sympathetic Russian go-between and Bobby Schofield is an 18-year-old expectant father who is just trying to make some quick money. Unfortunately, most of the characters become totally unlikeable as their personal layers are peeled back. Nonetheless, considering most of the film takes place within the confines of a submarine, it is impressive that director Kevin Macdonald keeps Black Sea so gripping as paranoia and chaos ensue.