Article 2611 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-29-2008
Posting Date: 10-6-2008
Directed by George C. Scott
Featuring George C. Scott, Richard Basehart, Martin Sheen
A sheep farmer and his son become infected with a experimental nerve gas that leaked from a military helicopter. When the boy dies, the military institutes a cover-up and leaves the dying farmer in the dark about his son’s fate. However, the farmer discovers the truth, and…
Undeniably great actor George C. Scott started out very well as a director with a fine TV-Movie called THE ANDERSONVILLE TRIAL, which won several Emmy awards. This, the first of his theatrical directorial efforts, is less successful, though not without interest. It’s basically a cross between the seventies conspiracy film and DOA. The setup is conventional enough, and it might have been a very effective thriller, but I sense that their was an attempt to give the movie a different feel than your average thriller. Unfortunately, the movie remains subdued and rather distant, and, despite a typically strong performance from Scott, it never makes the jump from interesting to compelling; I was curious as to what the farmer was going to do, but I never really became emotionally involved. The direction is mostly straightforward, but the attempts at artiness (some slow-motion sequences and disorienting transitional moments), though used sparingly, feel out of place. The ending is also somewhat unsatisfying, mostly because it feels like there should be more to it, maybe because many of the important characters in the story seem to vanish too early in the plot. Again, it’s not an awful movie by any means; it just feels incomplete.