He runs the crew through relentless drills, offers little encouragement, and seems to take unnecessary chances. We soon learn that Polenin -- who remains aboard the sub -- is a father figure to the sailors, while Vostrikov aims to inspire fear. These opposing command styles lead to power clashes throughout the movie, a la Crimson Tide.
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And I just can't bring myself to care.
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Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.