David Duchovny and Ed Harris topline this claustrophobic submarine thriller, which ticks all the right boxes in delivering old-fashioned tension.
Phantom follows a Soviet submarine, captained by Ed Harris’s Demi on its last mission before it gets decommissioned and sold to the Chinese military. The boat takes on a mysterious team, lead by David Duchovny’s Bruni, who have plans to destabilise the Cold War and take the US and USSR to the brink of nuclear war. The film is loosely based on events which took place in 1968, which saw a Soviet submarine sink off the coast of the US.
Phantom may not sail into new waters with regards to the submarine thriller, but it’s an enjoyable effort that is heightened by its cast. Harris brings his usual commanding presence as the flawed submarine captain, while Duchovny acts against type as evil Bruni. The supporting cast is no slouch either, while the always reliable William Fichtner and Lance Henriksen adding extra zing to this testosterone fuelled nautical thriller.
Todd Robinson’s film may not bring anything particularly new to the submarine thriller sub-genre, but it’s always good to see a solid film that relies on acting rather than special effects. Phantom was shot onboard a real submarine and this helps to bring realism. Everything is up-close and personal – there’s nowhere to hide. Robinson does make strong choices with the ending – it’s bold, underpinning the film with an emotive poignancy.
Phantom comes with a group of short, but informative documentaries, a trailer and a rather out of place music video.