Nautilus (2000)

“He’s young, crazy as a shithouse rat and likes to play with bombs.” Again demonstrating that he’s the best at whatever it is he does, Australian kickboxing movie icon Richard Norton single-handedly tries to save the past, the present, the future, and most importantly of all, the movie from total cataclysmic collapse! Sometimes he does it by kicking punks in the head, sometimes by shooting them, and sometimes by giving us colorful dialogue you just don’t find in nearly enough movies.

Shithouse rats aside, Nautilus is pretty much a floater even by the relative non-standards of the time-traveling submarine movie genre. You can’t help but compare Nautilus unfavorably to the granddaddy of all submarine time machine movies, Beneath the Bermuda Triangle.

That one had non-stop action, cyborgs, Jeff Fahey in two roles (including one that necessitated a ratty wig and eyepatch), and a super old half-frozen bad guy. Nautilus had non-stop talking about whether some explosive charge was going to be set off in the earth’s core by a drill bit, chicks with giant wax clown lips, and Richard Norton in a role that put him in the background in favor of chattering old farts way too often.

Nautilus did feature a really nice action sequence involving a van ramming stuff, blowing up a bus, and a bunch of cop cars flying through the air. Oh wait, that scene was lifted from Beneath the Bermuda Triangle! Never mind.

Norton (Not Another Mistake, Kick Fighter) plays John Harris, a mercenary with all the right credentials. You know the credentials I’m talking about – Medal of Honor winner and court-martialed for playing by his own rules!

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After wrapping up some soldier of fortune business in Columbia involving a miniature crossbow, Norton starts his new job as the head of security on the oil rig, Prometheus. But this isn’t just any old oil rig. It’s going to produce all the energy the world could ever want once the Earth’s core is tapped.

But just like any great scientific advance that keeps America strong, a bunch of moronic eco-jerks from the terror group Equinox are determined to stop the Prometheus at all costs! Which means they send four guys to plant bombs and storm the rig!

I would’ve have felt sorry for these overmatched enviro-pansies tussling with Richard Norton, but I was enjoying watching Norton thump these guys too much to give a shithouse rat’s ass! Especially when these guys were already captured and restrained and Norton was still beating the crap out of them trying to get more information! Hey, it’s international waters, so anything goes, right?

But the Prometheus has even bigger problems! Problems from the year 2099 to be exact! That’s the crappy year that the future-sub Nautilus and her crew come from to bitch and moan about what we’re doing in 1999!

The Captain, Noah Brinn, claims that because the Prometheus drilled down and blew something up below the earth’s surface that massive earthquakes and fires occurred and that this somehow caused the world to be wrecked and for some evil government to spring up and harass the people in the future.

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So instead of using all the brains that somehow constructed a massively powerful time traveling submarine to help themselves in their own time, they come trucking back here and expect us to clean up a mess we haven’t even gotten around to making yet!

After all a lot blather back and forth and some ships and planes getting blown up while the military and the Nautilus were squabbling with each other, Captain Brinn lays out his plan. In exchange for us abandoning the Prometheus project and not destroying the planet, he will give us all the secrets of the submarine, limitless power and probably also the recipes for the maggot-based food he bragged about serving on the Nautilus. (In the future, all the food is contaminated except for insects! Why not the insects? Because it’s the future you dummy!)

This sounds pretty good except that the guy who owns the Prometheus is a stubborn dolt and there’s also a traitor aboard the Prometheus who is secretly working for Equinox. There’s also a CIA guy sort of in cahoots with Equinox and everybody and their brother is still trying to blow the damn thing up!

Then Captain Brinn goes and gets his mega-sub hijacked by a woman! Acting alone! The Nautilus would have been in better hands with Captain Kangaroo at the helm!

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The stupidity rapidly ramps up at this point as Brinn gets it into his head that it was Nautilus that caused the end of the world! It was never explained how that was going to happen, but it resulted in a lot of scenes of Brinn tearing out wires from his sub’s various control panels, so he must have been serious. What’s truly stupid though about this movie is the whole idiotic plan of Brinn’s.

If you can go back in time and you need to change the past so that a specific event does not occur, why in the world would you go back to ten minutes before the event takes place? Why didn’t Brinn go back to before the Prometheus was built and give the scientist who was going to work on it all his secrets for time travel and limitless energy instead of doing it at the last minute when half the world is trying to blow Prometheus up?

Or just go back in time and stay and work on getting all that stuff up and running in our present so there’s never any need to build the Prometheus in the first place! There’s no reason to go back when he did except that the movie demands it because without that nonsensical choice, there wouldn’t be any movie at all. It’s all shithouse rat crazy if you ask me.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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