By Matthew Bitz
Once in a while, a filmmaker or studio decides to make a film about how things really were. A film that sticks to the facts and pays attention to details instead of how much the net take at the box office will be. This is such the case with U-571, a film that will be interesting to the adults while gentle enough for some of the younger kids as well. It is based on historical events of World War Two and is sure to please anyone who saw Saving Private Ryan or The Thin Red Line.
U-571 stars Matthew McConaughey and Jon Bon Jovi (will wonders never cease?), and Bill Paxton in a story about the Allied struggle to break the German coding system that was crippling American convoys to Europe. At the outset of the war, the Germans had come up with a system of coding that was unbreakable to American and British intelligence experts. This coding system was known as the Enigma system. Desperate to halt U-boat attacks on American convoys crossing the Atlantic, the Allies hoped an opportunity would present itself to capture and analyze the cipher machine without the German Intelligence finding out. This is where the story of U-571 begins.
U-571 has been out on search and destroy mission where it is crippled, frantic for assistance the submarine puts out a distress call that is intercepted by the Allies. Captain Mike Dahlgren, (Paxton) is the skipper of the S-33, an old WW1 era submarine that has been selected to be disguised as a U-boat sent to resupply the crippled one sitting out in the Atlantic. The plan is to send a sub out to meet the Germans on the high seas and then steal the Enigma and sink the sub. Lt. Tyler and Lt. Hirsch along with a Marine Major Coonan are selected to lead the raid onto the sub. All goes well until the real resupply U-boat shows up and sinks their ride home, leaving them and their crew stranded on a German U-boat in enemy waters. Unable to get home, and unable to call home, they are forced to make a run for France.
This is a film that will provide viewers with an edge-of-your seat thrill ride and plenty of submarine lingo, sure to keep your attention until the end. I think that all who see this film will find it entertaining and enjoyable.