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Review: 'Hunter Killer' is a Miracle of Time and Space

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | October 26, 2018 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Film | October 26, 2018 |


The Hunt for Red Octsparta is an incredibly stupid movie that has no basis in reality. Like, not even by shitty television standards. Look, you’ve got a trailer in which a bunch of sailors yell “ooh rah,” which anyone who’s seen an episode of NCIS in the last twenty years knows is what marines yell, not sailors. For fuck’s sake, if NCIS reruns can fact check your techno thriller, you’re not exactly dealing with the second coming of Tom Clancy.

The basic plot is that the Russian defense minister kidnaps the Russian president and then tries to start World War III. FOR REASONS. Not really, there are no reasons. And then Common and Linda Cardellini give Captain Leonidas a submarine and tell him to go save the day and then order some Navy SEALs to invade Russia. As people who aren’t actually the President are wont to do.

The head Navy SEAL is played by Toby Stephens. He looks and acts exactly like Doctor Cox from Scrubs. Look at this picture:


He spends the entire movie complaining and yelling at the sniper version of JD.

Also, the President is absolutely and totally Hillary Clinton. I’m not exaggerating. That’s her on the right. She doesn’t even get to sit at the head of the table when she’s president. Fucking patriarchy.


The president of Russia is super hot and the good guy. Who says hilarious things like “the people will never stand for this” and “I need to report to Parliament,” i.e. two things that no Russian ruler has said in all of human history. And more importantly, has a full head of hair. Did you know that the “hairy-bald” pattern of rulers of Russia, in which it alternates between bald guys and guys with lush heads of hair goes uninterrupted all the way back to 1827? Which means that this movie takes place after Putin (bald) is mert, Russia democratized, and in an alternate timeline when Hillary won in 2016.

And let me assure you, the differences in our realities do not stop there. No, no, no. This is a world in which time and space have no meaning.

Let us dissect matters, since the filmmakers were kind enough to give us times on screen. The explosions of the subs that started the movie occurred at 9:04 am EST. The dead sub had been out of contact for two hours when the orders went out to start the rest of the movie. That’s 11 am EST. By which point, it is already 4 pm in Scotland, 6 pm off the coast of Polyarny in Northern Russia, and 8 pm in Tajikistan. This is very important, bear with me.

The timeline is amazing. So Captain Leonidas is hunting apparently on top of a snowy mountain in Scotland during day time. He is picked up by helicopter and flown down to the naval base at Faslane, Scotland. He is handed an envelope labeled “Top Secret for Commanding Officer’s Eyes Only” in a completely unsealed manila envelope. At which point he orders the XO to get all the men back on board so they can set sail. It is still light out.. OK, so our current timeline is that they set sail that evening and the very next scene they’re off the coast of Russia and it’s day time.

Please see the attached map, which shows that the route in question is 1,628 miles. That they completed overnight. In a submarine with a maximum speed of approximately 30 miles per hour.



Next, let’s examine the route the special forces team took. They began the day in Tajikistan and then airdropped into Russia at Polyarny that afternoon. They parachuted in and it was still light, hiked a while, set up position, and then even sent in little spy drones and it was still light out. They got from Tajikistan to Polyarny, just shy of 2,500 miles, in a C-130, which has a maximum speed of 368 miles per hour without it ever getting dark. Technically, that is at least possible, not counting all the time they spent hiking and scouting after they got there. But, um, a C-130 has a maximum range of 2,361 miles. So it maybe could have gotten them there in a stretch, but then would have fallen out of the sky before it could get anywhere else.

Plus there’s that little thing where the entire route is across Russia, you know, the country that is hostile in this little scenario? And they parachute down within walking distance of a Russian military installation where the military is staging a coup. All during daytime. While said military is actively preparing for World War III.


OK, so what if we actually change up this route to only flying through countries whose airspace an American military flight like this would be allowed to fly through? I.e., what are officially designated NATO, or “non-NATO major military allies.” Ouch, we’re up to 6,900 miles. I really hope they remembered to put in their frequent flier miles.



Basically, there are only two explanations. One, in this movie, the world is a quarter the size it is in reality. Or two, in this world, the Earth spins far slower on its axis and “days” are 160 hours long.

Don’t worry about it Chidi, it’s Vladimir Bearamy.

Dr. Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at You can email him here.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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