A rebelion in the former Soviet Union has captured a nuclear missile base, causing the greatest global emergency since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US launches the USS Alabama, a nuclear submarine under the command of "Captain Ramsey" (Gene Hackman and his Executive Officer (XO) "Lt. Commander Hunter" (Denzel Washington).
Eventually, the "Bama" receives an emergency communication that is cut off, and both the commander and XO do not concur on what to do since the message is incomplete. Both pull in fellow officers into their argument, which ends up in a mutiny lead by "Hunter."
The performances are really good, you can almost feel the intense tension from the entire cast. Easily, Washington and Hackman stand out among the cast since the most tension is between them.
Most the the characters are well written, except a few minor ones. The script itself is simply excellent, and makes you want to see the movie multiple times like I have.
Although the scenery is restricted to the interior of the Alabama, the performances of the actors and the script makes you forget about it. You also forget that the entire movie takes place on board the sub, which is by design.
The music also enhances the mood of the movie nicely. All the music is instrumentals, and none have a singer. I think having songs without a singer singing would have ruined the mood the instrumentals helped set in the movie.
If you happen to see this on your local television line-up, try to catch it if you can. If you see it on the shelves at your favorite video rental store, this would be one of the best rentals you can get. You will not be disappointed in this movie at all.