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The Hunt For Red October (DVD) Review
Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin star in The Hunt For Red October, a brilliantly conceived storyline drawn from the pages of military thriller and superstar writer Tom Clancy's first novel. Blessed with a cutting-edge plot and dripping with suspense, The Hunt For Red October is one of the best Soviet/US spy films ever produced (and right on the cusp of the Cold War's end). Perhaps the Soviet Union's collapse was hurried along by its fear of a civilian populace that could write stories so close to reality. After all, if a US civilian could estimate the capabilities of the new Soviet submarines, what had their government uncovered? Regardless of its real life implications, The Hunt For Red October is an entertaining film rivaled by few in its class…
When Captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) is appointed to command the newest and most technologically advanced submarine in the Soviet fleet - the Red October, he orders his crew to do the unthinkable - defect to the United States. Diverting the sub from its designated course, he causes alarm among the ranks of the entire Soviet military establishment. The United States takes notice as well, informed by the Soviet Union that the renegade commander is intent on attacking the United States.
But CIA operative Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) has another theory. Suppose that Ramius was attempting to defect? Would the Soviet Union really inform its greatest enemy of a defection, or would they simply attempt to enlist its services in immediately destroying the sub? Ryan banks on the latter and does everything within his power to convince the top brass that he's right. Now, the hunt is on between the two largest superpowers in the world. Which one will find the Red October first?
The role of Jack Ryan, so brilliantly portrayed by Alec Baldwin, falls to Harrison Ford for the next two Tom Clancy novels adapted to the big screen - Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger. Ben Affleck would later star in the role of Ryan for the 2002 film release of Sum Of All Fears. But Baldwin is clearly in command of the character in this initial onscreen depiction of the now famous Jack Ryan.
However, the true star of The Hunt For Red October is Sean Connery, the former James Bond regular, who plays the role of Captain Marko Ramius. Connery is more than believable as the headstrong, renegade commanding officer of the Red October. In addition to its strong casting, The Hunt For Red October is further enhanced by the screenwriter's decision to stick as close as possible to Tom Clancy's original work. A surprising #1 best-seller, The Hunt For Red October became a national phenomenon following its less than ambitious initial print-run of 15,000 copes by the Naval Institute Press. Its best-seller status wasn't the result of luck, as this film will attest. The first in a series of blockbuster Jack Ryan films, The Hunt For Red October is a definite must-see film no one should miss.
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