2000s In Enemy Hands (2004)

Published on March 6th, 2008 | by Chris

0

In Enemy Hands (2004)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On March 6, 2008
Last modified:October 6, 2012

Summary:

I can't say I was all that impressed really by In Enemy Hands. It was a contrived plot from the start, and the entire thing felt like I was reading one of those cheesy high-school-library action adventure novels.

I can hear the groans now.  "No!! Not another submarine movie!!!"

In Enemy Hands (2004)But that's what we've got today.  In Enemy Hands takes us once again beneath the Atlantic during World War II.  This time, however, things are a little more complicated than kill-or-be-killed.

To be fair, In Enemy Hands starts off in typical sub-movie fashion, and for the most part follows through.  The goodbyes, the typical arguments between crew members, the distrust of the rookie captain, etc. etc.....

That is, until the USS Swordfish gets torpedoed, and the crew has to abandon ship.  Right into the hands of the awaiting U-429 and her crew.  What the Germans don't realize, and the Americans have only just discovered, is that they've been infected with a rather nasty strain of meningitis, and its highly contagious.

So, on top of the usual bickering from the German side about keeping the prisoners in the first place, and for good reasons....  crew from both sides start falling ill, and dying.  Much to the Kapitan's dismay, he's forced to enlist the help of the Americans, and formulates a plan to sail to New York and give themselves up, just to stay alive.

And, you guessed it, more divisiveness in the crew emerges, and more tension.  Until finally they come across a US Destroyer, AND another U-Boat....

Look, I'm not going to say this was bad, but I really expected more from a cast which I'd call fair.  Kapitan Herdt (Til Schweiger) is really stoic, The Swordfish's COB, Nathan Travers (William H. Macy) is just, well, kind of there, really.  I definitely expected more from him.  The  biggest disappointment was Travers' wife, played by NCIS's Lauren Holly.  Egads, sister, what was up with that?  Keep an eye out for a few other familiar faces, such as LOST's Ian Somerhalder.

I suppose the ultimate message is that when faced with survival, even enemies can band together in cooperation, but in the end I can't say I was all that impressed really by In Enemy Hands.  It was a contrived plot from the start, and the entire thing felt like I was reading one of those cheesy high-school-library action adventure novels.

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Description

AT THE HEIGHT IF HITLER'S NOTORIOUS U-BOAT WAR, THE CREW OF THE USS SWORDFISH IS TAKEN PRISONER. HOWEVER, MENANGITIS STRIKES MORE THAN HALF THE GERMAN CREW & THERE AREN'T ENOUGH GERMANS TO RUN THE SUB...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Lions Gate
Manufacturer: Lions Gate
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Til Schweiger
  • Thomas Kretschmann
  • Connor Donne
  • Matt Lindquist
  • Andy Gatjen

Features

  • Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • 94 minutes
  • R
  • English & English, Spanish Subtitles

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful WWII Film About Hope, July 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (Amazon Video)
In Enemy Hands is a very powerful movie about war and respect.

William H. Macy stars as the Chief of the Boat (COB) of USS Swordfish. Swordfish, out on patrol in WWII, has its crew fall under meningitis. In a fight with a German U-boat, Swordfish is mostly destroyed and the crew abandons at sea only to be picked up by the same U-boat (U-429) who took her under.

The XO (Second in Command) of Swordfish had the disease and owing to an order from the new, young CO, was required to status his watch station during battle. Subsequently, he passed the meningitis on to other members of the crew. Being taking aboard 429, the sick crewmen eventually pass it on to the German sailors.

The real story is how the two crews eventually had to work with each other in order to stay alive. Macy's character is a realist. He wants his crew to survive and the only way to do so it through cooperation.

This is a very well acted movie on all parts. The Germans... Read more
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'd really like to give this movie 4, September 1, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
I'd really like to give this movie 4.5 stars -- not perfect, but very thought-provoking. I watched it for the first time 2 weeks ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I'll be re-watching this movie multiple times, like a good book.

I won't summarize the plot, since that's already been done well by others, except to mention that while it sounds like the American submarine commander (Scott Caan) was entirely at fault for the spread of meningitis, actually it was already spreading. Scott Caan's character wasn't kind about it, but it would have spread throughout the crew(s) in any case. Crowded quarters, and the first crewman to catch it hid his symptoms until it was too late to contain it.

I can't compare this movie to other WWII submarine movies since I have seen so few. I watched this movie for only two reasons: Scott Caan is in it (I'm a huge admirer of his work on the Hawaii Five-0 TV series) and the plot sounded compelling. I wasn't familiar... Read more
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2.0 out of 5 stars should be on discount, June 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (Amazon Video)
It is watchable and mildly entertaining, but that is really the best that can be said about it. From the point of view of historical accuracy, it is far, far from the mark. From the degree of plausibility, it fails both on the medical and military points-of view. The set design is unremarkable, The cinematography doesn't escape television quality. The characters are flat. Even Macy isn't allowed to realize the full potential of the stupidity of his character, which is role he performs so well in so many other films: the well-meaning idiot.

Others have written here that they see this as a highly ideological film, a pacificist statement with a degree of nazi apologism. I don't think the script or film-makers have shown themselves to be smart enough to pull such a thing off. If you want moral complexity in your films set in Nazi Germany, there are so many better examples (hint: watch *recent* German-language films.) If you want conflicted motives in your portrayals of... Read more
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In Enemy Hands (2004) Chris

Summary: I can't say I was all that impressed really by In Enemy Hands. It was a contrived plot from the start, and the entire thing felt like I was reading one of those cheesy high-school-library action adventure novels.

2.5


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



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