There are exciting things about Director/writ- er Todd Robinson’s Phantom, and some things that are not. Filmed in the harbor of San Diego on a Soviet cold- war submarine belonging to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the idea to recreate a real moment in history from 1968 involving a Soviet sub- marine, is not a bad idea.
Soviet Captain Demi (Ed Harris) is returning from three
months of sea duty. He’s in- curred some rough times and is really ready to retire. But instead he’s handed one last mission in an old rust bucket that has seen better days. Demi argues about the logic of the mission and using this
sub, but the cards have already been played.
Once on board Demi is sur- prised to have a few replace- ment soldiers who tell him they have been assigned a special duty on board as technicians. Bruni (David Duchovny) and Darin (Derek Magyar) are soon nestled sweetly in the sub, but immediately begin giving the Captain orders.
The Captains chief officer Alex (William Fichtner) does not like what he sees, and eventually others onboard voice their concern that their original orders are being sabo- taged by the two replacements who clearly did not have clear- ance to be on this sub and have a very dangerous and alter motive.
The story could have been stronger had their been a little more to the script with a better structure. Still, the danger and intrigue continues to build. To the filmmakers credit it only takes a few scenes gone by to realize shooting a film in this small of a space was probably a nightmare, and Robinson did admit that in a Q & A after the screening I saw.