Dec 7, 2011

Wiwille's movie reviews part 84

Sometimes it's great to fantasize about being able to altar the course of history. You've been in those conversations about if it's moral to kill Hitler before he became the Furher, or whether you could stop the career of Nickleback.

"The Final Countdown" plays with this idea. It's the story of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, which sounds like a schoolyard bully's taunt. Regardless this 80s carrier has aboard a civilian observer, played by Martin Sheen, and an old fashioned captain played by Kirk Douglas. The carrier leaves Pearl Harbor for a routine voyage, but is then transported back in time to Dec 6th 1941, the day before the Japanese attack Hawaii.

After some initial confusion the captain finally accepts that the impossible has happened. He picks up two boaters who have come under attack of Japanese Zeros, as well as one of the pilots who was shot down by the American jets. One of the boaters is a senator who when he learns of the plot tries to warn the naval base, but is laughed at.

The captain has a decision to make, attack the Japanese fleet with all the might of his overwhelming superior weapons and save thousands of lives, or not altar the course of history. After much debate he finally makes his decision...

"The Final Countdown" is extremely dated, with awful special effects and horrific music, but it's not without merits. The acting by the leads is far better than expected and the plot is interesting, even if the dialogue is not. There are some impressive flight scenes that would even rival "Top Gun", but largely the military readiness shots are straight out of a recruiting video.

I would recommend it based upon said strengths, but the ending is a cop out of the highest order and really made the viewing experience not a worth while one.
Thanks to Greg for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"A solid movie with a lousy ending." - Walter Chaw.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Fair enough! I'll look out for it on TV, if only to find out what the lousy ending entails!