Black or White
I've been kind of ragging on Kevin Costner's career lately, probably because he seems to only pick terrible roles in stupid movies anymore. But he seems like one of the more genuinely nice guys in Hollywood, based on how he acts outside of his movies. Plus, I like Waterworld. So I thought I'd give him a break and see his new movie Black or White and just go in there without any cynicism, and kind of just enjoy the performances and evaluate at least how good *he* is in the role, even if the movie may not live up to my expectations.
So Black or White, if you're unaware, is Costner's new drama film about trying to win custody over his African-American granddaughter, while the girl's grandma from the other side (played by the always great Octavia Spencer) also tries to win custody of the girl, who's parents are dead. It's like a back and forth of cultures while making a lot of commentary on how we perceive each other. Kind of weird that the opening title graphics are showing Hitler and Stalin's war plans on bright red maps, though. Whatever. So Costner is picking up his daughter I guess, but first he has to stop by this rich guy's house to obtain instructions on how they will deep-sea dive together to find the-
Wait a second...
(looks down at ticket)
Hey! The box office girl didn't sell me a ticket to Black or White... She sold me a ticket to Black Sea! I was wondering why Kevin Costner looked so much like Jude Law, and why they were talking about Nazi gold for the first 20 minutes of the movie. Ok... well... Let me shift gears then...
Black Sea tells the story of NOT-Kevin Costner actor Jude Law's quest to take a submarine to the bottom of the titular sea and retrieve many millions of dollars worth of Hitler's swastika-engraved gold without the Russian navy finding out. There aren't any black people in it. It is 100% white.
Well, I thought it was decent. They sort of jump right into the main plot of the film in the first five minutes and they're on the sub in the first fifteen minutes, which is good, because if you're watching a submarine movie, you shouldn't really care about what happens above the water.
It has a lot of good tense scenes, and there are a lot of power dynamic shifts throughout, as the bickering sub mates have to teeter between wanting to kill each other in order to increase their share of the gold and wanting to keep each other alive and work together because, well, you need a bunch of people to operate a submarine. Eventually, even the craziest of all of the characters realizes that the gold won't be much good if they can't get off the sub. Mmmmmmm. Subs. Maybe I'll get some Jersey Mike's for lunch tomorrow...
It has its predictable moments and clichés, though. The fact that the line "We need Fraser for this job. I know he's literally insane, but he's the best diver I've ever met." was uttered and followed by this insane person starting at least two of the film's major problems; it just goes to show how lazy the characters were. The young guy who's never been on a submarine, the old guy who's been on 100 submarines, the chef who makes comically disgusting food, the overly quiet guy who says something funny halfway through the movie, the aforementioned loose cannon guy. It's like they took all the elements you'd expect in a submarine movie, and still managed to make it somehow entertaining. Good for them.
Now, I have *no* plans to ever watch this movie again, because it wasn't great, but it's certainly worth a Redbox rent (for you) when that becomes available. If you like submarines, I suggest you see the movie. If you like somewhat predictable-yet-enjoyable plot turns, I suggest you see the movie. If you like seeing Nazi gold get stolen, I suggest you see the movie. However, if you like Kevin Costner, I suggest you *don't* see Black Sea. He's totally not in it.
7.5 out of 10