It is no surprise that "Crimson Tide" contains a high-adrenaline summer rush quality with a lot of promotional energy coloring its poster in red, having a submerged submarine in between the heads of Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. But what is most surprising about the film is in its writing by Michael Schiffer and Richard P. Henrick. And Tony Scott's direction has a lot of fun shooting in a submarine with a lot of swift camera movements with characters running, taking you from one end of the ship to other. But back to the screenplay. Washington is an executive officer assigned as second-in-command for a U.S. submarine, comandeered by the grizzled veteran captain Hackman. These two don't see eye-to-eye. Washington is younger, well-educated and of a new age where decisions are backed up by philosophies. Hackman is more trigger-happy and sees the mission itself without having to relate back to any philosophical statements. So while the submarine is underway to defuse a terrorist's reign in Russia, an emergency action message alerts the sub crew to prepare to launch missiles. Soon after, a new message is received but is cut shortly when attacked by a missile. What to do? The X.O. believes it is an order to retract the missile launch. Hackman wants to proceed anyway. Who's right, who's wrong? The movie takes the time for both characters to make a convincing case, since the ship divides into two sides. It's a mutiny movie with ideas, tough decisions in this high-stakes world, and it is a joy to watch these two superb actors go head-to-head with each other, although these two actors could do these roles in their sleep. But Hackman, in particular, gives a very entertaining performance gnashing the scenery with real bite. And there's a lot of supporting players, but George Dzunda and Viggo Mortensen stick out, because they do their "jobs" so well and are a close friend to the two chief characters. It's easy to make a movie about warheads that will blow something up, but what I was suprised by was that these characters were smart, thoughtful, persuasive and argumentative. Now how's that for finding time to squeeze something in in an action movie?