Down Periscope

on March 01, 1996 by Susan Lambert
These days, everyone gets a shot at the majors. If this debut is his best leap to the big screen, Kelsey Grammer (TV's "Frasier") should keep his day job. He's a fine actor and a strong comedian and he shows movie potential, but "Down Periscope" is a weak move into the big leagues.
   Grammer portrays Lt. Commander Tom Dodge, a fun-loving maverick who is finally given command of a his own submarine (albeit diesel) despite the concerns of one stuck-up Admiral Graham, overplayed in an unusually one-note performance by Bruce Dern. The movie wants to be "Crimson Tide" meets "Stripes" except Grammer is no Bill Murray. He plays Tom Dodge as a soft, feel-good guy who also kind of wants to command a nuclear submarine. The two don't mix.
   It's embarrassing to see Lauren Holly wasting her time as the butt-of-all-the-obvious-jokes female aboard ship. The laughs, and there are some laughs, come from a strong supporting cast, especially Toby Huss and Harland Williams as wacky crew members. Starring Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly and Rob Schneider. Directed by David S. Ward. Written by Hugh Wilson and Andrew Kurtzman & Eliot Wald. Produced by Robert Lawrence. A Fox release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for some crude language. Running time: 103 min
Tags: Starring Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly and Rob Schneider. Directed by David S. Ward. Written by Hugh Wilson, Andrew Kurtzman, Eliot Wald, Produced by Robert Lawrence, Fox, Comedy

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