The Reel Review
A ragtag team of rebels accepts a suicide mission to deliver a stolen German submarine packed with atomic uranium back to America, in this WWII-era war drama. Think of it as Europe’s answer to the American TV series the A-Team, just without Mr. T.
On its face, this Belgian film from director Sven Huybrechts is a complete trainwreck. The story is ridiculously stupid, the acting so atrocious you can actually see it trying to happen, and the dub into English is 1950s Godzilla bad. Even the score is jarringly upbeat and outrageously corny, begging the question: was all of this done on purpose?!
But you know what? As terrible as it is, Torpedo: U-235 is actually a pretty fun film – a throwback to the era of cheesy Saturday afternoon matinees aimed at kids – only in this movie we get a LOT of not-so-kid-friendly gore, a little bit of sex, some pointless period racism and a sizable body count. If you love goofy war movies and a leaky submarine that defies the laws of physics, then congrats, this is the wacky, mindlessly entertaining movie for you.
• Director Sven Huybrechts was a recipient of the Vitruvian Award for Torpedo: U-235 at 2020’s DaVinci Film Festival, which celebrates independent films.
• Koen De Bouw is one of Belgium’s most famous actors, starring with Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammar in the 2016 series The Last Tycoon and in the 2016 thriller The Prime Minister.
• Elle-June Henrard also stars in the 2015 sci-fi/thriller Boy 7, about a Dutch teenager who doesn’t know who or where he is.