Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Submerged: Occupy the Limo, Underwater
Searles household limo is no James Bond vehicle. It might be well-fortified,
which will come in handy, but it also sinks like a stone, which will be a
problem. The intrepid family retainer-bodyguard-driver will have to think fast
to save his boss’s daughter in Steven C. Miller’s way-better-than-you-expect Submerged (trailer here), an IFC Midnight
release screening this weekend in New York.
it looks like Matt is not doing such a great job protecting Jessie Searles, but
as we soon learn from flashbacks, he fought off a large contingent of armed
would-be kidnappers rather efficiently. He reasonably assumed she and her club
kid friends would be safe once they reached the new limo, considering it is
basically a tank with a wet bar. However, when the gang forces them off the
bridge, things quickly get dire. While battery power keeps the lights on, the
rest of the electrical system is kaput, freezing the doors and windows. Unless
they figure a way out, the undertow will drag them out to sea, where they are
likely to never be heard from again. Of course, the bad guys are also still out
the frequent flashbacks (always a dangerous proposition), Submerged is a surprisingly lithe and economical thriller. Matt’s
Army Ranger background is a double blessing, making him a credible action
figure as well as a cool and collected (but not particularly talkative)
protagonist. His ambiguous relationship with Jessie Searles rather works in
context, but the backstory involving his kid brother’s suicide gets a little
is really bold about Submerged is the
villains’ explicit class warfare rhetoric. Frankly, the limo might as well have
been attacked by Bernie Sanders. Matt’s boss Hank Searles is also refreshingly
positioned as a conscientious boss, forced to initiate a round of layoffs to
protect the rest of his employees and the community, but for the conspirators, that
is reason enough for him and his daughter to suffer and potentially die.
his restraint is appreciated, Jonathan Bennett’s Matt is almost too understated
for an action lead. However, Tim Daly (yes, from Wings) is quite charismatic and even compelling as the decent but naïve
Hank Searles. Mario Van Peebles also adds some vigor and attitude as the Q
behind the Searles limo.
Miller juggles the various revelations
relatively well and manages to make a film about six people trapped in a
sinking limo never feel stagey or narrowly focused. One of the better
commercially-conceived American thrillers released this year, Submerged screens round midnight tomorrow and Saturday (11/27, 11/28) in New York, at the IFC Center.
Labels: Confined space thrillers, Tim Daly