For a submarine movie, Black Sea is built like a tank. It’s a robust adventure story with solid, well-drawn characters, clear (and high) stakes, omnipresent danger and a high ideal or two. Fifty years ago it might have starred Gregory Peck or Sean Connery. Released in 2014, it instead features Jude Law, here trading luvvie glamour for working class rugged charisma.
When we meet Scottish salvage expert and submarine skipper Robinson (Law), he’s unemployed, having recently been let go after remote vehicle technology has made him surplus to requirements, and struggling to make child support payments. Desperate and feeling betrayed by the company he devoted decades to, he gets wind of an unbelievable fortune – a sunken U-boat stuffed to the bulkheads with Nazi gold.
The wreck is off the coat of Georgia in waters contested by Russia, and so a secret plan is hatched: with money from a shady venture capitalist (Tobias Menzies), the doughty Robinson puts together a mixed crew of British and Russian submariners and sets off from Sebastopol in a clapped out surplus Russian diesel submarine to salvage all that Third Reich bullion – or die trying.