Capt. Lange (Michael Cavanaugh) of the USS Ulysses, an attack class atomic submarine, knows that rules prohibit of them taking anyone other than crew aboard the submarine but when he spots 5 people clinging to a raft in a storm he breaks protocol and lets them aboard. But it turns out it was a ploy as these civilians are in fact terrorists and having taken control of the submarine plan to blackmail Washington. Despite having retired to raise his son single handedly James Allen Carter (Michael Dudikoff) is persuaded by Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Stark (Catherine Bell) to dive down and get aboard the Ulysses and with the help of the crew set about regaining control of the sub
"Crash Dive" can be summed up by saying it is the submarine version of "Executive Decision" and if you haven't seen that movie Kurt Russell plays an expert who sneaks aboard a plane mid flight to deal with terrorists who have taken control. And yes it does mean that "Crash Dive" is a bit of a "Die Hard" clone with the terrorists and the sneaking around but it doesn't have what those other movies have starting with a decent storyline. The whole thing of taking stranded civilians aboard an atomic submarine is as hilarious as James managing to secretly dive down and get aboard it.
But the action side of "Crash Dive" is also uninspiring and director Andrew Stevens not only fails to deliver on the claustrophobic nature of a submarine but also its cavernous, series of tunnels set up. It means that at times it feels like James is running around in the boiler room of a hospital rather the narrow gangways of a submarine. The actual action, the battling the terrorists is also a much of a muchness which constantly makes you appreciate the action in other similar movies.
What "Crash Dive" is also lacking is in star power as whilst Michael Dudikoff gives us his take on the action heroes it is actually quite a boring one. There is very little in the way of wit from his character and I don't remember him ever breaking a sweat or having a hair out of place. Aside from Dudikoff there is Catherine Bell who I am convinced is wearing the exact same outfit she wore in another one of these military actioners. But it seems Bell's character is there more to keep Carter's son in the movie with him phoning her up all the time to know how his dad is getting on.
What this all boils down to is that "Crash Dive" is another semi "Die Hard" rip off which might appeal to fans of Michael Dudikoff but offers little for anyone else who is looking for some 90s action fun.