Hunter Killer, which is set to be released worldwide later this year, promises to be an exceptional action thriller.
While there’s no shortage of these types of movies, those that ultimately stand the test of time benefit from certain key advantages that are directly related to the decisions made by the filmmakers.
Hunter Killer will very likely attract a major audience not only during its initial release, but in the years to come, as well. Here are a few reasons why:
The plot of Hunter Killer involves an American submarine captain who, with help from Navy SEALs, strives to rescue the kidnapped Russian president.
Action thrillers manage to be genuinely thrilling when they depict high-stakes situations. Too often, these types of films don’t resonate with audiences because the characters whom they put in danger are vague and one-dimensional.
By putting at risk a character with depth who is fleshed out, Hunter Killer’s story allows viewers to develop a genuine connection with the character.
More importantly, if the characters in this film fail to rescue the Russian president, the consequences will be dire. This is not a scenario in which one life is at stake. The geopolitical ramifications of the plot are clear. When a major world leader perishes, virtually everyone on the planet feels the ripple effect.
A Wise Choice
On top of that, the filmmakers behind Hunter Killer made a wise choice during the writing phase of the project. The protagonists of many action thrillers are often experienced, elite operatives, which makes it difficult for viewers to relate to or sympathize with them. Elite action heroes have nothing in common with the average person, and they rarely have to worry about not succeeding in their missions.
The protagonist of Hunter Killer is a relatively inexperienced captain who is thrust into a situation for which he is unprepared. Ideally, he would never have to solve this type of major geopolitical problem. He takes on the role of the hero because he has no choice.
This detail elevates the material. Again, the filmmakers have crafted a high-stakes scenario. Most other movies with these kinds of plots attempt to balance the tension by depicting their protagonists as extremely capable individuals.
This is a mistake. Great, memorable actions thrillers, ranging from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Die Hard to The Hunt for Red October, make an impact on audiences because their protagonists are in over their heads. The tension increases when the character who must save the day don’t have the experience necessary to do so.
That’s why Hunter Killer is going to captivate audiences.
Ever since he took on his star-making role in 300, Gerard Butler has been the kind of actor whom viewers want to root for. He always comes across as the type of character who adheres to a code of values that viewers can respect. Casting him as the protagonist in an action thriller is always a good idea. The audience wants him to succeed. The fact that he’s a capable actor who always bring passion to his roles is practically an added bonus.
Gary Oldman also appears in the film. He lends any project a degree of gravitas that ensures audiences will take the events depicted on screen seriously.
In far too many action thrillers, filmmakers cast actors who are predominantly known for their comedic talent. They believe that the best way to maintain an entertaining tone throughout a film is to simply portray the major characters as comic relief.
In movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars, which are geared toward a younger audience, this can work. The film isn’t supposed to upset young viewers too much. It needs a certain amount of humor to keep the children in the audience entertained.
Delivering Genuine Tension
Unfortunately, filmmakers often think that the same principle should apply to action thrillers made for adult audiences. This isn’t necessarily the best strategy. Sometimes, it’s more effective to cast actors who take their roles seriously. Viewers will also take the story seriously if the characters in it behave likewise.
That’s why it was a good idea to cast Gary Oldman in Hunter Killer. His reputation ensures that any viewers going into the theater understand that they’re going to watch a film that delivers genuine tension.
Of course, the best way to appreciate this movie is to simply see it. Everyone has their own personal reasons for appreciating a film. Regardless of what those reasons are, however, the filmmakers who produced the movie had to make the right decisions to please audiences. Hunter Killer is an example of an action thriller that works because the people who made it also made smart choices.