One of the most historically inaccurate movies ever surfaces on streaming
Tense thrillers set on submarines have proved fertile creative ground for filmmakers dating back decades, and it’s the sort of oddly specific subgenre that can be relied on to deliver plenty of entertainment, but only if the cast and crew are firing on all cylinders.
After all, for every roller-coaster ride of excitement like The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, or The Abyss, there’s a more tedious counterpoint, such as K-19: The Widowmaker, Hunter Killer, or Phantom. Jonathan Mostow’s U-571 falls somewhere in the middle, in that it provides an accomplished underwater adventure, but also happens to be one of the most historically inaccurate movies ever made.
Even if you weren’t familiar with the truth, then the mere notion of David Ayer scripting a World War II story where Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, and Jon Bon Jovi conspire to steal an Enigma machine to turn the tide of World War II sounds patently absurd, and that’s because it is.
U-571 was publicly blasted by U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair in the midst of parliament at the time, such was the dignified outrage on British shores, while scholars and historians alike piled on to blast almost every aspect of the story, with Ayer ultimately admitting he wouldn’t pull a similar stunt again when it came to adapting real-life events.
That being said, U-571 has resurfaced out of nowhere on streaming by becoming one of iTunes’ most-watched titles as per FlixPatrol, so maybe 22 years is long enough to let the wide-ranging inaccuracies slide.