The Abridged Script
EXT. THE OCEAN
A GERMAN SUB is ruthlessly bombed by Allied fleets.
Gee, those Germans are regular people too. I feel sorry for these guys.
DIRECTOR JONATHAN MOSTOW
The GERMANS MASSACRE a raft full of unarmed survivors.
What was I thinking? Fucking Germans! Die Germans die!
DIRECTOR JONATHAN MOSTOW
INT. DANCE HALL SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA
The NAVY GUYS are at one of those stock WW2 parties.
So tell me, Captain Bill Paxton, why did you not recommend me for captain?
Look son, it'll be some time yet... almost half an hour... before you get your own command. And "if" you ever do, there will be certain hard realities you "might" have to confront. To choose a random example, you "might" have to order a young guy to almost certain death in order to save the entire crew in a vaguely tense though ultimately implausible final action sequence. So remember this advice just "in case" anything "should" happen to me.
Suddenly BILL PAXTON gets blown up by NAZIS.
Grrr! C'mon guys! Let's get those dirty Nazis!
You're gonna get it now, Germans! You pissed off Matthew McConaughey!
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY and the NAVY GUYS (which include HARVEY KEITEL, the token black guy, and, allegedly, JON BON JOVI) go and capture the NAZI SUB from the beginning of the movie. Along the way there is lip service paid to CODE MACHINES in order to facilitate all this bullshit.
INT. NAZI SUB
We have to use this beat-up Nazi sub because our shiny new American sub got blown up. I guess we should have left the sonar on when we entered enemy waters.
Oh no, depth charges!
Everyone HOLDS STILL and SWEATS. MUFFLED EXPLOSIONS are heard in-between THAT "PING" NOISE. Then there are CLOSER EXPLOSIONS that make EVERYTHING SHAKE and PIPES BURST and WATER SPRAY everywhere. This takes roughly AN HOUR and anyone who has EVER SEEN an old sub movie is BORED TO TEARS.
Where's Jon Bon Jovi?
Although we are deep in Nazi territory in a rapidly failing submarine, if we can just take out this one Nazi destroyer then we will be perfectly safe and the movie can end.
Wait... this is what Bill Paxton was telling me about! Smallish young guy, I order you to almost certain death!
The SMALLISH YOUNG GUY follows the order and DIES, allowing the remaining NAVY GUYS to fire their ONE TORPEDO that makes the Nazi boat EXPLODE like it was the DEATH STAR in an utterly ludicrous fashion. I mean, no sooner does the TORPEDO hit the FRONT of the destroyer than its TOP and BACK ERUPT in FIREBALLS. Really, I laughed out loud.
You did it, Matthew McConaughey! You're a real sub captain now!
Yippee! Now that was pod racing!
A TITLE CARD explains that the film is dedicated to numerous HEROIC SUB CREWS during WW2 that RISKED THEIR LIVES to crack NAZI CODES. It fails to mention they were all BRITISH.