The Hunt For Red October (1990)

(On DVD, January 2003) Strong adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novel that actually assumes that the viewers will be able to follow along without too much hand-holding. It works rather well. There are a few mistakes and (only) a few liberties taken from the source material, but the on-screen result manages to be one of the only decent decent techno-thrillers even more than a decade later. Credibility seems to be the name of the game, from the military hardware sequences to the acting of the actors. (Despite a few gratuitously “thrilling” sequences and some unconvincing underwater effects.) Alec Baldwin makes a capable Jack Ryan, and the supporting cast is similarly apt at fulfilling the demands of their characters. Almost immediately absorbing, The Hunt For Red October holds its own for nearly all of its duration, with a slight dip it the conventional last few minutes. Still, good show. The first-generation DVD barely contains the film and the trailer, let alone any extras.

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