The time is World War II. A ragtag American crew (a functional Matthew McConaughey, a salty Harvey Keitel, and a solid Jon Bon Jovi) must impersonate a German submarine with their WWI clunker to obtain a crucial Nazi coding device. Sonar, torpedoes, depth charges, Marines versus Nazis. What more does one really need? The boat plunges and the plot twists and characters aren't developed but nobody in the audience should complain.
Before the tense deep-sea claustrophobia of U-571, director Jonathan Mostow filmed Breakdown, a vehicle for Kurt Russell that explored the eerie open vulnerability of the American Southwest. Somehow the expansive highway offered more spaces for surprise, but Mostow works this submarine thriller with success.