Submerged (2005) (part 5 of 6)

Cody finds Dr. J in the boiler room. She says she radioed the Clinton for help, but apparently this is a Very Bad Thing, because Cody says she just signed their death warrants. This turns out to be somewhat accurate, because when we cut to Admiral Can’t Afford To Light My Own Goddamn Ship, he orders his men to sink the sub if it surfaces. In any other film, this plot point would kick off a nail-bitingly suspenseful action sequence. But here—do I even have to say it?—not so much.

A fight breaks out on the bridge of the sub, leaving two of Cody’s guys dead. Cody eventually shows up and kills the rest of the brainwashed soldiers with a really dumb gun trick that’s not worth taking the time to explain.

This leads into another overly casual escape scene. This escape also happens just in the nick of time, because after this, the sub is immediately blown up by a stock footage missile fired from the Clinton. And despite the title, this is the very last time anything will be “submerged” in this movie. Whether or not this is a good thing is entirely up to you.

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And now we come to a lull in the film (yeah, I know the whole film is like one giant lull, but bear with me). Apparently, the story has decided to take a twenty minute coffee break. I suggest you do the same. As a matter of fact, here are some fun things to do while you’re waiting for the movie to get back on track:

  1. Contemplate the subtle, nuanced brilliance of the Brian Bosworth film Stone Cold. Seriously, it’s just as cheesily good/bad as Road House, though sadly overshadowed by it. Plus, you get Lance Henriksen threatening to skin a guy with a knife dipped in shit, while proclaiming that it’s better to be first in Hell than second in Heaven. Can’t go wrong there.

  2. Consider the lyrics to the ’70s cop show Baretta. Why should one keep their eye on the sparrow, as opposed to any other type of bird? Why does a goofy looking, creepy guy like Robert Blake get such a cool theme song, while Judd Hirsch’s Delvecchio had to do without? And finally, what is the exact measurement to use to know “when the going gets narrow”? Is it meters? Feet? Furlongs? These things really need to be explained.

  3. Relative to that, try and guess what Sammy Davis Jr. was drunk on at the time he wrote the lyrics to the ’70s cop show Baretta. Half credit if you resort to the default Rat Pack answers “scotch” or “whatever Dean was having”.

  4. House cleaning. Hey, you might find something under a seat cushion, like lint or an old penny, that’s more interesting and compelling than this movie.

Now back to the film, and twenty minutes of absolute nothingness. Don’t worry, it’ll be quick. Not painless, though.

(By the way, I’m eliminating a lot of the cutting back and forth, and describing the action in larger chunks than what you see in the movie. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.)

Fletcher and Lehder arrive at a place called “Kelin Dyle”. Which looks like a TV station, but is actually a lab; it was mentioned briefly on the sub. Meanwhile, Cody and his remaining surviving team members (Henry, Damita, Dr. J, and some other guy—I think it’s Luis) all arrive… somewhere. Wherever the hell they are, they’re just in time to be spotted by a guy who looks like a bulked up Rob Zombie.

Rob reports to Fletcher, who plans to lure them to a predetermined location where they can be killed. Specifically, a street demonstration, where our brainwashed friend Plowden is waiting with a rifle in a hotel window. After some time is wasted, we learn Cody plans to hunt down Lehder before Lehder does the same thing to him. Well, yeah, one would hope the hero in an action movie wouldn’t just sit around doing nothing while… Oh wait, that’s almost exactly what Cody does later. Never mind.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Hi, my name is William Hope. I haven’t been in a really good movie since 1986. Please give to my new charity, Help for Hope.”

Caption contributed by Ed

The new KD Centre. Helping people to make things to do things to other people with.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Okay then, I’ll just check to see where Devil’s Rejects is playing…”

Back at the TV station, I mean, the corporate lab, Lehder is introduced to a man named Sandro. Sandro is going to be giving orders, even though we’re told he was the one who prepared the lab according to Lehder’s specifications. So I guess he’s really more of an Assistant Manager to Evil than the real guy in charge.

There’s more dicking around, which leads to the revelation that Sandro wants to kill the current President of Wherever The Hell They Are. This appears to be news to pretty much everyone else in the room. Call me crazy, but I find it a little strange that the alleged main villain is getting briefed on a plot he didn’t know about, especially by a new character introduced almost an hour into the movie.

Also in this scene, Fletcher exposits to Sandro that he plans to replace Lehder with… Dr. J. And if any of that makes sense to you, you are a smarter person than I.

[Note from the future: The lab scene shows some men being brainwashed. They’ll become important later on, not that the film dwells on them long enough for the audience to really make a mental note.]

Meanwhile, Rob Zombie is driving a cab, which is currently carrying Cody and his team, and bringing them right to the demonstration. I guess I should ask why we didn’t see how Rob Zombie lured Cody into his cab, but I’m just thankful this movie isn’t any longer than it already is.

Anyway, a riot has broken out, possibly for the sole purpose of giving us gratuitous footage of people being beaten by police. A round of incoherent dialogue leads Cody and Company to wander around and make big giant targets of themselves. There’s a ton of walking and talking here, and if they know Fletcher’s plans, they sure as hell aren’t acting like it.

Cody spots Plowden and sends Henry after him. Wait, the star of this movie is delegating? What, is it time for Seagal’s snack break? When the hell did action heroes unionize, anyway?

During this, Dr. J is arrested by the cops for no particular reason. So Cody decides to call off whatever they were planning to do, and meet back at a random safehouse. Um, is it really a good idea to put the brakes on what little momentum this plot has? It’s not like Dr. J was doing anything vital to the story. She was just walking around aimlessly, much like the rest of the team.

Oh, and I guess I should mention that we see Henry kill Plowden in another dull, uninspired fight. After which, Henry swipes a satellite phone. Gosh, that couldn’t possibly come in handy later on, could it?

Cut to the safehouse, which turns out to be a bar full of large bay windows, where pretty much anybody walking by can see the spies doing their spy stuff. Wow, and here I thought the purpose of a safehouse was safety. Cody meets up with a random female operative who barely warrants a mention, and more dull, vague dialogue ensues.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Yeah, I’m having my usual: glass of warm, almost-solid fat with a butter and cream chaser. What’re you guys having?”

Henry arrives at the door and Cody remarks, “Yeah, I know that knock.” Look, jackass, you can plainly see him through the big picture windows. Stop acting like you’re a psychic.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Submerged (2005)

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