Friday, December 1, 2023

With the blockbuster “Hunter Killer”, the US Navy hopes to achieve an effect comparable to “Top Gun”

Like the majority of Western armies, the US Navy encounters difficulties in attracting vocations. But she hopes the new film will have a similar effect to Tony Scott's 1986 film "Top Gun," starring a young F14 Tomcat pilot played by Tom Cruise. In the years following the film, the number of applicants to join the US Navy, and more specifically the Naval Air Corps, skyrocketed. But these effects were also felt in the US Air Force, as in the majority of Western armies.  

The new film on which the US Navy's hopes rest features Gerard Butler who, after saving Sparta and the President of the United States, will take the reins of a Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, the most modern submersibles in service in the Navy, to confront Russian rebels who have led a coup and threaten world peace. You should not look for a detailed scenario in this film, like that of “In Pursuit of Red October” by John Mac Tiernan, adapted from the novel by Tom Clancy, or that of the USS Alabama, by Tony Scott once again. times.

In the new film, which received strong support from the US Navy , everything is designed to stage the action and, according to its promoters, to make the public feel what life is like on an American submarine.

On the other side of the Pacific, in China, the film industry has also helped promote the image of the armed forces. In 2017, the Chinese Air Force was featured in the Film Sky Hunter (international title), featuring the PLA's new J10 light fighter. In the hit series Wolf Warrior, it is the PLA special forces that are highlighted, like its navy.  

The world of TV series has also become, in recent years, a medium used for Defense communication. In “The Last Ship”, it is a Burke A-class destroyer and its captain who save humanity from a deadly virus, and from the chaos that results from the collapse of states.  

And in France ?

Although French cinema is very dynamic, very few films deal with military affairs, and seek to highlight the French forces to encourage vocations. The failure of the film “The Knights of Heaven”, combining breathtaking images and a scenario of extraordinary platitude, has certainly left its mark, both on the side of the producers and the military authorities. A few rare films, such as “Special Force”, have attempted to provide an interesting treatment of military affairs, but here again, the public was not there. But Mathieu Kasowitz's next film, "The Song of the Wolf", also set in the world of submarines, may well revive interest in this type of feature film.

We can hope that, if “Hunter Killer” or “Le Chant du loup” achieve commercial success and it achieves its objectives in terms of images for the US Navy, new projects will appear in France to stage positive way the technicality and determination of the soldiers who serve the country. 

Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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