Runtime: 1hr 33mins
Germans decide to sabotage the Britannic, sister ship to Titanic during World War I. Cue an unlikely baddie, an equally unlikely goodie and lots of posh people trapped in the middle – to fight it out in this tug o war.
The Disasters Faced
A quickly sinking ship but really the biggest killer is the giant propeller of the ship which appears to take out more lives than the actual ship itself!
Although the Britannic is a TV movie, it does hold some good production values and to some degree, this is both its triumph and its downfall. It’s a triumph as everything is made very competently. The script is feasible, the storyline is dumb but the acting raises its believability and the film chugs along at a decent enough pace. However over the entire movie is a Dr Quinn sheen. Everything’s too shiny. Everyone’s too perfectly dressed and polished. There’s no blood, dirt or grime. This means that while it’s perfectly watchable it lacks character. There’s the typical first-class lot (Jacqueline Bisset back for more disaster fun) who scoff that another ship could sink and the usual Captain Birdseye at the helm. It’s all by the numbers and therefore doesn’t enthral. The sabotage storyline is skewed so that our lead lady can save the day and fall in love with the baddie in a silly manner and it just doesn’t work at all – feeling forced and contrived. The absence of death, in general, is surprising and I cannot believe the films rated as a 15! I’ve seen PG’s with more violence.
Some poorly inserted greenscreen shots look very generic and computer generated. The sinking itself is not shown dramatically and the actual wide shots look like they’ve come from a PlayStation 1 games FMV segment. The flooded sets are much better however and give a great claustrophobic (albeit shiny) feel for our main duo to splash around shouting in.
Why It’s Worth Watching
The love story is hilariously bad but aside from that, everything else works in a ten-year-olds adventure story kind of way. Think BBC2 on a Sunday afternoon kind of film. Inoffensive, you can doze off merrily and rejoin the action knowing exactly where you are. The acting is well done and credit to the well-known names for not coasting their way through it.
There are so few so I’ll go with our baddie Edward Atterton who finally gets his comeuppance when his lifeboat is sucked into the propeller and he gets promptly diced up for the sea creatures below. A good way to go no matter how tastefully it’s done…
Everyone is very bland but at least Bisset owns her lady role to a T.
Despite the whole love element between the two leads being so clunky, I’m going to give the award to my copies DVD cover. The cover not only has the tagline “Intrigue, romance and disaster” spelt wrong but so are some of the stars’ names and some other words on the cover are missing! What drunken sailor designed the UK release of this movie’s cover?!
Coincidental love story being coincidental.
The ships actual reason for sinking has still never been confirmed, although its widely suspected a mine or a torpedo caused the sinking. It was due to be called the Gigantic. I prefer the Britannic!
By being completely inoffensive, mild and restrained Britannic manages to completely avoid giving you any kind of emotional strain whatsoever and while that means it’s not an awful film, it’s certainly not a good one either. I’d rather laugh at how awful something is and get more enjoyment out of a film that way than just sit numbly. Sorry!