U-571 (2000)

 World War II is a subject that Hollywood likes to visit every once in a while when making war movies. Sometimes they’re good, and sometimes they’re bad. And then there’s the films that are in-between; they’re not good, and they’re not bad either. These are the war films that have received a fair amount of mixed criticism amongst critics and audiences alike. And that’s where 2000’s “U-571” fits in; it’s not good and it’s not bad either. It tries to be a war classic but becomes boring and slow to watch near the end. “U-571” could have been a good war movie if there was something interesting about it.

 The plot involves a group of American Naval officers to go and intercept a Nazi U-boat during WWII. The reason behind this is because the Nazis have a secret transmitter that links them directly to Germany. If the Americans are successful, it will be one step closer to winning the war. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan. The American ship that led the operation gets destroyed leaving several officers aboard the enemy submarine. Now the crew must take refuge in the enemy vessel and try to get out of enemy waters.

 “U-571” just doesn’t hold enough interest to sustain its almost two hour run time. The acting is nice, but the characters are bland and are not given enough time to let the audience be invested in them. The direction is all right, but it could have been handled better by someone with more experience at making a war film. The camera has a lot of wide angle shots extreme close ups, that gets annoying real fast. The pacing is an issue because whenever we are on the enemy submarine, especially during the third act, the action either goes by very quickly or rather slowly. “U-571” is not without its flaws.

 But with that being said, there are some good things about the movie. As stated in the above paragraph, isn’t all that bad. The major stars like Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel do an outstanding job in their roles, that they deliver the best performances in the movie. The action sequences are both intense and suspenseful; especially near the end. The special effects are not that bad and add great realism to the film. The sound effects are good and the music is a great addition as well. So, the technical aspects of the movie are not all that bad.

 In conclusion, “U-571” is a good technical film, that’s not considered a war classic. It could have been handled better if there was some actual interest involved. World War II is definitely a favorite subject to make a movie, but if the movie is focused on a submarine, make it interesting.

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