Such a great screenplay, wonderfully executed. Just like a submarine must tread carefully through the ocean, McTiernan efficiently steers the audience around the twists and turns of the story without ever letting up on the tension.
The claustrophobia and paranoia of the environment add a sharp edge to even the most innocuous scenes. There are little to no surprises yet it feels like something nasty is always around the corner. I presume it was mostly shot in a studio but the sets sell the illusion really well.
When it all finally starts to come together Alec Baldwin’s slick (but somewhat reluctant) CIA agent and Sean Connery’s salty old Russian submarine captain are a surprisingly good fit together. A silent bond between the two develops during the film and when they finally meet the pay-off is satisfying.
The best submarine spy thriller in… ages.