Vampire Owl: Do you remember when was the last time we saw a torpedo in a movie?
Vampire Bat: Yes, it was in The Wolf’s Call, a French movie.
Vampire Owl: This one wouldn’t have that one being launched, I guess.
Vampire Bat: Yes, this one seems to show the need to deliver the torpedo.
Vampire Owl: I have heard that this movie is set during the Second World War.
Vampire Bat: Yes, it seems to have fictionalized history well enough.
Vampire Owl: For some reasons, the name of Hitler is coming back at different places.
Vampire Bat: Yes, after all, the Second World War is the event most learned in classes.
Vampire Owl: Well, he is the best known figure of that particular war, isn’t he?
Vampire Bat: Yes, everyone I have seen in the vampire world knows that man.
[Gets a vancho cake and three cups of cardamom tea].
What is the movie about? :: The Second World War is at its higher points with Hitler’s power unmatched by anyone else, and during these times, commander Stan (Koen De Bouw) and his weird group of resistance fighters are given the mission to deliver a stolen Nazi submarine filled with atomic uranium, which can be used for weaponization. This amount of uranium, if captured by the Nazis again, could lead to terrible consequences. Therefore, the team would do anything to get it to the United States, while Nazi Germany would do anything to make sure that it doesn’t. The team has to get this boat from Congo, and they are given some time to study about the submarine, the German u-boat, short form for undersea boat. But they have to start the journey too early, because they are discovered by German Destroyer ships from a distance, with information about their mission being leaked. Due to the same, Stan is also forced to take his daughter Nadine (Ella-June Henrard) with them, whom he was planning to leave at a safe place in Congo.
So, what happens with the events here? :: Stan himself has a past with the Nazi death squads, as he had tried to save a few Jews who were running away from Hitler’s Jewish Holocaust, and he had lost his wife and son in the process, left only with Nadine – the girl is in love with Filip (Joren Seldeslachts), another member of the crew, a relationship which Stan doesn’t approve of. The team also has help from a German captain who knows the u-boats in and out, as well as an African man who was left inside the submarine while loading the supplies from outside. These two are to become two important people who would be instrumental in ensuring the team’s survival. During the first and Second World Wars, the u-boats were efficient weapons against enemy naval warships, best used in enforcing blockades. They were not that into direct battles, and attacked merchant convoys bringing supplies from parts of the British Empire, and from the United States to Europe, but in this case, it has to prepare for battles too – can they survive?
The defence of Torpedo: U-235 :: The movie has some nice visuals, not just outside, but also inside the u-boat submarine which has some nice detail, even though not as much as we had seen in The Wolf’s Call. But it is always nice to see one of those older type of submarines both inside and outside. The movie seems to be made in a low budget considering its content, and has done pretty well to rise above those limitations. There are some fine action sequences, most of them involving guns, but there are not too many – we do have torpedo launches too, as we see two submarines going against each other, a submarine against a destroyer, and a submarine against a fighter plane. The feeling of the Second World War and the Nazi terror is maintained throughout the movie – there is a Nazi threat over the head at all times. It is the kind of thing that can keep almost any movie alive. This is the kind of movie which could have another mission with another movie in this franchise with fictionalized World War bravery.
The claws of flaw :: The movie has a little too many dialogues, and often it gets far above the action which happens. The romantic and emotional side of the movie including the girl is rather dull. The romance becomes a rather unnecessary addition which doesn’t seem to have much of the romantic elements, and the emotional side gets rather too weak because of this love story that works in between. The funny side is also not used to its best advantage, and the final moments seem a little bit forced – for some reason, they wanted to save the girl’s life; maybe the shortage of female characters went to far ahead, and for the same, they want to do the impossible defying logic. The film surely could have had a better climax and ending, because so much was established in between, with the scope seemingly reaching a new level. Maybe they felt that there was enough already and didn’t want to try too hard – well, that is true as we look and understand that it has enough to be an action thriller mostly set inside a Nazi submarine with atomic submarine inside it.
Performers of the soul :: Ella-June Henrard plays a character who seems to be there just because they needed a female character in a movie full of men – she doesn’t get to do much until the movie gets towards the end, and most of the time, serves as just a distraction. When such a decision was made, it needed to have better quality with opportunities as well as the performances, and without the first one mentioned, we can’t really have the second one. Maybe they wanted to give her something, and provided her the perfect shot even though she was not really supposed to be part of the team. A Belgian actor Koen De Bouw plays the main character, a Nazi hater with a rough past, and he does very well, while a German actor Thure Riefenstein plays the German u-boat Captain who displays some hope for humanity during a time of terrible crisis and hostility against humanity. Joren Seldeslachts who plays the love interest of the girl is caught in that romantic side, but otherwise it works well for him too. The next one to make an impression is the man from Congo who is left in the submarine as it dives, and he is one force who will be noticed for sure.
How it finishes :: Torpedo: U-235 serves the purpose in having another fictionalized account of war, and it is always better to have this one instead of movies like Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds because this one at least has some control over its history and doesn’t decide to kill Hitler in ridiculous ways. There are similarities which can be found here related to the latter. Our movie here has some fine content, and it has a thrilling adventure which could have been better – it doesn’t use its submarine to that much of an effect like The Wolf’s Call did. But you are not short of entertainment, and there is also a certain amount of humour in store along with the seriousness related to the atomic uranium, and the danger of traveling under water with such scary stuff, along with being chased by powerful German submarines, fighter planes and destroyer ships. When you make a World War II movie well enough as this one, there is entertainment, and we are glad to have the same to go through such edge of the seat moments.
Release date: 23rd October 2019
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Sven Huybrechts
Starring: Koen De Bouw, Thure Riefenstein, Ella-June Henrard, Joren Seldeslachts, Sven De Ridder, Stefan Perceval, Bert Haelvoet, Rudy Mukendi, Gilles De Schryver, Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Vic de Wachter, Martin Semmelrogge, Stefan Weinert
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.