04 March 2013

Movie Review: "The Final Countdown"

Rated: PG (for reasons unspecified by the MPAA)
Starring: Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, and Katharine Ross
Release Date: August 1, 1980
Synopsis: Warren Lasky, of the Department of Defense, is asked to accompany Navy ship USS Nimitz to see how well they operate, and how things can be improved.  After the ship sets sail, they encounter a weather phenomena unlike anything they've ever seen.  When the raging storm becomes calm, everything seems the same at first...but then, they hear old-school comedy on the radio, and they've lost contact with all the other ships in the area.  The Nimitz's crew finds out that they've somehow arrived on the day the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor...but will these accidental time travelers be able to stop one of the worst terrorist attacks in United States history?

WARNING! The sections ahead likely contain spoilers!

Production Values: 4.5/5
This is where the movie excels.  Despite this film being released over three decades ago, the cinematography, acting, action sequences, scenery, and such are both high-quality and timeless.  That may be why it is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Story: 1.5/5
The movie has an intriguing premise, especially in this day and age; seriously, which of you reading this would give your life to go back in time and prevent 9/11 or other recent acts of terror from happening?  Unfortunately, this flick fails to deliver on that, because the Nimitz and its crew and planes are all taken back to the present before they can stop the attack.  Though the film's finale has a triumphant tone, it all seems for naught because of that one plot point.

Moral Content: 2.25/5
I was expecting better in this area, too.  Alongside a small amount of sexual dialogue, some violence, a bit of it bloody, and at least forty--no exaggeration!--profanities plague this film.  Discerning viewers should either watch this edited on live television--if they ever show it--or use ClearPlay or a similar service to eliminate the language.

Conclusion: This has to be the biggest cinematic disappointment I've experienced since The Black Hole or C Me Dance! Between content issues and a terrible ending, I can't help but feel that this movie is simply 1.75 hours that I'll never get back.  Yes, The Final Countdown is considered a classic; I know that.  Still, I didn't care for it.

Score: 1.75/5

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