When a chemical weapons expert is abducted by Iranian terrorists the US send in a Navy SEAL team to extract him from where he is being held. But things don't go well and the SEALS are caught off guard by the terrorists who manage to capture them to and set about using them along with the weapons expert aboard an Iranian submarine as a human shield whilst they attack US submarines including that of Cmdr. Bill McKay (Gary Busey) who they arrived on. But between the weapons expert and the SEALS they are going to find someway of over running the terrorists.
There are times as a movie reviewer I know what a movie is going to be like before even watching and "Steel Sharks" was one of those times. Here we have a Navy SEAL action movie where they sneak around and when things don't go to plan have to go a bit "Die Hard"/ "Under Siege" to save the say. Unfortunately whilst when there is action it is the guns a blazing variety when there isn't any action there is nothing to really command your attention as we watch the men creep around, make signals to each other and so on. Maybe it was going for realism but realism is not always what is called for in a movie.
But there is more trouble for "Steel Sharks" because it combines the familiarity of a Navy SEAL storyline with that of a submarine and anyone who has watched a few submarine movies will know the limitations that they have. As such we have more scenes where nothing happens as the submarine moves and comes close to danger. To put it bluntly the combination of Navy SEALS and submarine doesn't work and only has ever come close to working when James Garner starred as a naval diver on a submarine in "Up Periscope"
"Steel Sharks" is also one of those movies which features actors who whilst having recognizable names are no longer crowd pulling names. As such whilst Gary Busey, Billy Dee Williams and Billy Warlock may all have their fans who will watch this they aren't enough to make others think this must be good. In fact whilst the trio all put in solid performances they are only typical of this sort of military actioner and not only will you struggle to remember their character's names you will struggle to remember that they were in the movie in the first place.
What this all boils down to is that "Steel Sharks" is just another typical military actioner the sort which when video was popular you would have expected to find in the bargain bucket of the video store. The thing is that whilst not memorable it isn't actually terrible just typical of this sort of movie which is not only forgettable but the sort of movie which grows tedious when it isn't delivering action.