Down Periscope is a comedy that doesn’t prove itself seaworthy. Kelsey Grammer plays Captain Dodge, a talented Naval officer who has an unfortunate disregard for authority. He is given one final chance: command of a rusty old diesel sub. The Navy is setting up a wargame in which one small diesel sub will attempt to infiltrate and strike at the East Coast. To Dodge’s dismay, certain higher-ups who don’t care for his attitude have assigned him the worst gang of misfits ever to board a ship. Get ready for a collision course with wackiness! Of course, there’s the rebellious son of an admiral who is looking for a quick trip out of the navy. There’s the rolly-polly ship’s cook, and several other tired stereotypes all lurking here and there. None of the main actors particularly shine. Grammer has little to add to the nontraditional Captain Dodge. Rob Schneider’s loud executive officer becomes excessively annoying rather quickly. Lauren Holly’s first female on a sub crew role is wasted as she portrays the nervous dive officer unsure of her own training. There are comic moments here and there, most notably by the crew’s electrician Nitro, and the chief sonar operator with superhuman hearing capabilites. While aschewing the out and out parody style of Airplane! and the Naked Gun series, Down Periscope introduces familiar situations but fails to do much with them. Down Periscope is a rather leaky sub.
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