- Review by Kaya Savas - December 14, 2018
Hunter Killer is one of those troubled productions where a long-road to completion probably hurt the final product more than it helped it. In the sub-genre (no pun intended) of submarine thrillers, we have no shortage of great films like The Hunt For Red October and Crimson Tide. Hunter Killer doesn’t stack up to some of the best, but it does deliver the goods if you’re willing to take it for what it is. Trevor Morris tackles the sub thriller and delivers an incredibly entertaining experience. There’s nothing fancy going on here, but the score showcases Morris’s ability to craft tension and excitement.
Hunter Killer’s style and sound feels a bit of a throwback to those fun action scores of the 90’s. Morris relies on melody and builds a great score that balances synthy textures and orchestral accents. There are moments of brooding masculinity that build to exciting action moments. You can truly feel the testosterone rushing through the veins of this movie. There is also some character development going on in the music, which was a welcome surprise. Morris is able to build some character moments in-between the action. We also get some bold themes such as the USS Arkansas Theme that definitely feels like it was transported from a Bruckheimer action flick of the 90’s.
If there is a drawback, it’s that we definitely needed more of that big thematic stuff. The film is a bit of a mess, which is no fault to Morris. Trevor pretty much had to navigate muddied waters to try and form something that worked. For the most part it delivers, but it’s a shame the film didn’t offer up more moments for big action anthem scoring. When we are immersed in pulsing electronic tension, it can wear a bit and lose the effect. We finally get those great themes in the final act though once we come to our resolution.
Hunter Killer is a fine distraction. It delivers pulse-pounding excitement, and Morris delivered an approach born from his voice as a storyteller. While the structure of the film doesn’t present enough opportunities for Morris to truly flex his muscles, it still presented a fun submarine thriller canvas for the music. The movie itself has its share of problems, but thankfully Trevor was able to do a very decent job of making this work. If you’re looking for old-school action thrills, Hunter Killer is worth exploring.