Chandler’s Trailers: “The Final Countdown” (1980)

000finalcountdown      Films that deal with time travel walk a fragile path as they must conform to the rigid book of history while at the same time, advancing a narrative while configuring the actions of modern day figures to not irretrievably alter that past. Clever films, such as Nicholas Meyer’s 1979 “Time After Time” manage to do just that, especially in it’s last moment interpolating of a “modern” character into what is a historically documented figure. Time travel stories directed at the future have a far easier time with this paradoxical conundrum, though oddly they tend to most often emerge as cautionary tales, as in H.G. Wells’ own The Time Machine. However, to make a time travel film which by its very nature demands history altering action by the characters is both interesting and foolhardy.”The Final Countdown” is a time travel drama which mixes the world of speculative alternate history in the service of exploiting the national blister still irritable from the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The film assumes that a modern American aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Nimitz, might suddenly appear within striking distance of the advancing Japanese fleet a day before the attack, with the resulting drama following a debate between the ships officers-  Captain Matthew Yelland (Kirk Douglas), Commander Dan Thurman (an underused Ron O’Neal) and Commander Richard Owens (James Farentino), as well as a civilan observer, Warren Lasky (Martin Sheen) who is a representative of a shadowy Mr. Tideman, whose company built and helped design the ship  -as to what course of action would be deemed appropriate, armed as they are with a foreknowledge of events to come.
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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1980's movies, Film Reviews, History, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science fiction, World War II, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Chandler’s Trailers: “The Final Countdown” (1980)

  1. Rick says:

    I used to watch this movie on cable every time it came on.

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