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Boot Camp

A pumped-up U-571 recalls Wolfgang Petersen's famous German submarine drama

Breathing room: As a WWII sub officer, Matthew McConaughey stretches far beyond his stifling pretty-boy persona.
Mario Tursi
Breathing room: As a WWII sub officer, Matthew McConaughey stretches far beyond his stifling pretty-boy persona.

Mostow's direction throughout is solid, and he proves adept at creating tension. He only falters a little during the scene in which the Americans first take control of the German submarine. Combine the fast editing with a whole bunch of men wearing more or less the same thing in the driving rain and the presence of a cast of mainly generic faces, and it adds up to a whole mess of confusion. Maybe that was the intent, but it would be more satisfying to be able to follow the characters through the conflict with greater ease. One character appeared to be shot and killed on three different occasions, only to show up without wounds afterward. Eliminating the driving rain might have clarified things. I know it's dramatic and all that, but leave the climactic downpours to Tony Scott next time.

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