In the movie “Hunter Killer,” which hit theaters this past October, a fictional stand in for Russian President Vladimir Putin finds himself captured by his rogue defense minister. The ensuing coup attempt promises to ignite a third world war, and as such, U.S. Navy SEALs and submariners are dispatched to save the Russian president and, in turn, the world.

As you watch the film, which was based on the novel “Firing Point,” you get a sense that the conflict you’re watching transpire occupies a slightly removed reality from our own. Russian military prowess, particularly in regard to their troubled surface fleet, feels exaggerated for the sake of drama and, if you squint and tilt your head just right, the end starts to look an awful lot like Rocky IV. The Russian president, who takes a bullet while aiding the SEALs in the firefight for his rescue, proves to be a strong and engaged leader, and America’s intervention in a coup that would have cost him his life results in the promise of improved relations between the two states moving forward.

“If I can change, and you can change, maybe we can all change.” Rocky told a crowd of Russian spectators after using his fists to end the Cold War. Movies, of course, are allowed to inject that sort of optimism into their climaxes. Real life, however, rarely works out so well.

As it would turn out, Russia’s real president, Vladimir Putin, never found the time to watch “Hunter Killer,” but he recently had a synopsis read to him by a reporter.