Bullet Points: Crash Dive (1997)
While Michael Dudikoff will always be remembered as the American Ninja, Dudikoff has been keeping busy for decades making a lot of movies that even devoted fans of his work, like myself, may have missed on their first go around.
That was the case with the submarine themed, Crash Dive.
The 90’s had no shortage of submarine movies, there was The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide and Down Periscope. So it really is no surprise the direct to video market tried to cash in.
In Crash Dive, Dudikoff plays James Carter. Carter is a retired Navy SEAL and a widower with a son named Tommy. Aside from the combat skills being a SEAL implies, Carter hast the brains to go with his brawn. Carter designed a nuclear submarine. How many people walking the Earth can make that claim?
- The Problem: While on routine maneuvers, the nuclear submarine the USS Ulysses receives a distress call from a boat sailing above… with bad weather on the horizon, Captain Lange makes the call to surface and rescue the crew in trouble. But it all turns out to be a trap as the five people that were rescued are in fact terrorists! The terrorists start taking out members of the crew, in fact the female terrorist does so while she’s naked. The terrorist group is led by a man named Richter (Reiner Schone). Once Richter and his team assume control of Ulysses, they radio their demands to the Pentagon… 100 million dollars in gold or they will attack Washington D.C.
- The Plan: Lt. Commander Lisa Stark (Catherine Bell) comes up with a plan that’s just crazy enough to work. Her idea, get a man with intimate knowledge of the USS Ulysses on board so he can disable the nuclear weapons and render the terrorists useless. But who would know the Ulysses inside and out… the man who designed it of course!
- The Die Hard Formula: There’s no denying that Die Hard really created a template for action movies to use over and over again in the years to follow, Crash Dive certainly uses that template as Carter has to sneak around the Ulysses to complete his all important mission. Thanks Bruce Willis! I enjoyed where Dudikoff uses a stick of gum to get a message to the crew. Was that an homage to MacGyver?
- Directed By: Crash Dive is directed by Andrew Stevens, a man with some action credentials to his credit, including two films with the late great Charles Bronson, 10 to Midnight and Death Hunt. Stevens also directed Don “The Dragon” Wilson in Virtual Combat, Kevin Sorbo in Fire from Below and Chuck Norris in an episode of Walker Texas Ranger.
- A Sequel?: The movie Counter Measures, often referred to as Crash Dive 2, came out a year after Crash Dive. The movie also stars Michael Dudikoff, but this time as Captain Jake Fuller. So how can Counter Measures/Crash Dive 2 really be a sequel to Crash Dive if the main star is playing a completely different character? They pulled that same crap with American Ninja 5 (Have I mentioned how that isn’t really an American Ninja movie?)
If you are a fan of Michael Dudikoff, you should make it a sub night… grab yourself a meatball sub and sit down and watch Crash Dive. It is a movie that wasn’t made to set the world on fire, but to entertain the audience for 90 minutes and it does just that. I would definitely watch it again.
Some other things to look for while watching Crash Dive…
- Suspension of Disbelief: If I was a betting man, I would bet quite a bit of money that the scene involving the Empire State Building did NOT win any special effects awards. A chunk of the Empire State Building falls from the sky and lands on the hood of a taxi cab with minimal damage (possibly because it was made of Styrofoam, the chunk, not the cab) but if my grade school teachers taught me anything, if you dropped a penny from the top of the Empire State Building it could cause some damage below, so one would think a chunk of building could do some real damage falling from that height. But instead of flipping over the cab, crushing it or causing some sort of explosion, it just lands on the hood.
- Tommy the Wing Man: One thing that is obvious through out the movie is that Tommy Carter is not only over his mother’s death, he wants to help get his dad laid. He even goes so far to say that Lisa (Catherine Bell) is just what the doctor ordered.
- Christopher Titus: Before he had his own TV series on Fox, comedian Christopher Titus played Dent the Sonar Man in Crash Dive. Titus managed to work in a few of his impressions as part of the role, including President Bill Clinton and Clint Eastwood.
- The Introduction of the Crew: We get to meet some of the crew as the opening credits roll and what a fun crew. These guys were Be-boppin’ and scattin’ all over one another really making this sub feel like a fun place to be… until the terrorists show up of course.