Robinson (Jude Law) has spent his life, costing him his wife and son, working in and amongst submarines. After being terminated from his job as a captain for under sea salvage, Robinson hears from some friends about a surefire way to make money: During World War II, a German U-boat sank off the coast of Georgia that was loaded with gold.
After meeting with a rich backer who is curious about the plan, Robinson is assigned a rugged submarine and a ragtag mix of British and Russian sailors to pilot the submarine. Amongst the group are the rich backer's assistant, Daniels (Scoot McNairy) who is being forced onto the submarien unwittingly and the unstable Fraser (Ben Mendelsohn) who is distrustful of the Russians on board the submarine.
It's like City Slickers II, just on a submarine!
What follows is a low-rent 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre' as this blue-collar group of sailors plots what to do if and when they find the gold. Some of the sailors then begin planning to take larger portions of the share of gold by killing others on board the submarine. Even before there is a chance for the sailors to get their hands on the gold, plans are already being put into motion about wiping out other people. You know, as soon as gold is mentioned you start plotting murder.
What should have been a solid thriller about characters in a tight situation beginning to crack under pressure and encapsulated by gold fever never fully realizes the potential. There are only two basic characters in the film: those that want to complete the mission honorably and those that are savage murderers just because.
"Just find me the shittiest looking sub in the world!"
As soon as the submarine hits the water, characters have already begun talking about how their slice of the gold could be higher if the offed one or two people. This ruins any tension of watching someone slowly crack. Black Sea takes what could have been a good idea and just sinks it (haha, I know. Me so funny.)
There was a good idea to be had, here, but the script to Black Sea does the actors and audience no favors by going too over the top when a nice helping of subtlety would have been what the film needed.
"If I stare out this window long enough, I'm bound to get an Oscar