The Final Countdown (1980)

Article #989 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11/29/2003
Posting Date: 4/27/2004
Directed by Don Taylor
Featuring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross

An aircraft carrier goes through a time warp and ends up in 1941, just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

If you’re in love with military technology and really enjoy endless shots of planes taking off, fueling and landing, then you’ll probably enjoy this movie well enough; as for me, I’m not particularly keen on that sort of thing, so I have to rely on the plot to hold my attention. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to see this movie before I’d heard about the ending (several times over, in fact), and it is one of those endings that tends to make the action that leads up to it seem rather pointless. It’s also the type of ending that would probably feel more effective in a thirty-minute Twilight Zone episode than in a full-length movie; as it is, this movie feels more like a missed opportunity than anything else, one that sets up some intriguing hypothetical situations, and then fails to really deliver on them. In short, the movie chickens out. This being said, it still has its uses; you can watch the first ninety-percent of the movie and speculate on what could have been. And as a side puzzle, see if you can figure out the identity of Martin Sheen’s mysterious boss before the final reel.

And incidentally, this movie marks the MOTDs first foray into the decade of the eighties.


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