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Old 12-18-2019, 10:32 AM   #46
Onkel Neal
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Spoilers will be hidden for this review.

Watched this last night. I was handicapped by a subtitles track that showed a line of dialogue 7 seconds before it was uttered on the screen, which was a little confusing at times. Some day I need to learn how to synch an srt file with the video, but oh well.

So, the French do have a few nuclear submarines, both fast attack and boomers, which makes them capable partners for NATO and the US. The movie mixes a little Dr. Strangelove with Hunt for Red October into a big budget film ($23 million), for France, and it looks really good. The plot is over the top and the main character finds a way to stay at the the center of the action in several scenes that stretch plausibility. And one other narrative device that anyone who knows anything about modern submarine warfare will find hard to swallow--everything is sped up 8x. Torpedoes really fly, subs can get from one area to another in a few hours when it would take much longer.

The main character ("Socks") is a young Acoustic Warfare Analyst who has a mythical ability to hear and classify anything on sonar, a little like Jonesy on HFRO. His sub the Titan is retrieving a SpecOps team off the coast of Syria and they run into a super quiet entity that he cannot classify, a mystery sub.
 
His uncertainty nearly causes disaster and sets the stage for similar drama at the end of the film. Their sub is detected by an Iranian frigate which promptly dispatches a helo to attack them. One thing leads to another and the sub's only option is to emergency surface and the captain pops out the sail hatch with an RPG. And then! The RPG trigger is locked . What? That's taking child safety too far. Ok, so he has to yell at another sailor with an automatic rifle to shoot the lock off the RPG. While holding it in from of him. This really announced to me this film was not going to be very realistic and really set the tone.




The Titan returns to base, from Syria to France. News prominently announces the Russians are invading Finland, without going into detail as for why. France is threatening Russia, the US is uninterested in getting involved (really? Come on ) and war looks likely. Socks is demoted and chewed out for not getting it right. He meets a chick and they fall in love, in 10 minutes. Which with war looming, makes sense to me, I know that's what I'll be doing.
 
Socks breaks into the admiral's office, guesses his password and gets secret intel that reveals the mystery sub is a Russian class that was "cancelled", except it wasn't, so the French never knew it existed and no one has any sound info. Well, now he knows why he couldn't figure it out.


The French admiral dispatches the Titan's captain to sea on the SSBN Formidable to provide a nuclear deterrent to the Russkies and his XO D'orsy takes command of the fast attack Titan to provide cover. Off they go to some undisclosed underwater area to stand by.

The mysterious unclassified sub now seems to be in the Barents Sea, and unless there are two of them, this is a long way from the Mediterranean. It makes its presence known
 
by launching an ICBM which French intelligence detects and tracks transiting across the entire length of Russian, headed to France. I guess this is a plot device that gives the French characters time to react, discuss, and plan to counter. It seems more likely that the Russian would want to strike much nearer to the target, but it becomes clear why this is happening later in the film in a clever twist.


The protocol leads the Admiralty to send a launch code to Formidable, and once sent, there is no recall. The captain of the Formidable will launch and nothing, not even a recall or abort code exists to stop him. It's explained that any attempt to recall the order could be due to spies, hackers, panicky government officials, the enemy, etc. So for the deterrent to be credible and effective, the protocol must be followed.

In a flurry of unlikely activity, Socks sneaks into the underground bunker where the decision makers are.
 
They chew him out for being there then he is allowed to "listen" to the missile's profile. Not sure what the director thinks anyone can do to gauge the weight of a supersonic missile in flight but Socks announces that the missile is 30kg light, and surmises it does not have a payload, no warhead. They figure out the cancelled sub was actually built and sold to an Islamic terrorist group, and the launch is a tactic to start a nuclear war between the West and Russian. Good grief! And the Formidable is about to launch a counterstrike, which will start WWIII!


They fly Socks and the Admiral out to sea, board the the fast attack to stop the Formidable from launching. So much happens in the final 20 minutes, most of it totally impossible, but it is a fitting climax for The Wolf's Call.
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Last edited by Onkel Neal; 12-18-2019 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:22 AM   #47
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:57 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsub View Post
In the movie they have some terms that are not explained.

Perhaps someone can help -

What does TUUM stand for?

What exactly are "magic points"

What is CIRA

Also -

Could an underwater swimmer survive that deep without being crushed by the weight of the water.

The accuracy of a submarine-launched ICBM is determined by several factors, one of which is the precision to which the submarine's own position is known at the time of launch. Submarines can't detect GPS while underwater and the errors in the boat's inertial navigation system have a noticeable effect. One solution is to go to place (such as a seamount) whose position has been mapped to high precision and stored in a database in the submarine. While not necessary, the use of a 'magic point' will noticeable improve the accuracy of the missile launch.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:23 PM   #49
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