A modern aircract carrier enters a mysterious storm and comes out of it on the day before the infamous Pearl Harbour attack in 1941. Do they intervene and change the future or do they sit by and watch thousands of their countrymen die?
Made in 1980, The Final Countdown is an half hour Twilight Zone type of story stretched, and I do mean stretched, into a 103 minute non-entity. It isn’t a bad movie, although the storm special effects are anything but special. The idea is a good one, and with the exception of some of the shots of Japanese attack fleet, everything looks good, it’s just that the movie wallows too often as if filling in time until the big moment.
The movie has a solid cast with Kirk Douglas, 64 years old at the time and still kicking it, a youngish Martin Sheen (40 years old), James Farentino and Katherine Ross, who at 40 years old, still looked better than most actresses of any age today. Infact, while looking up details on this great actress, I saw that she is on her fifth marraige to an actor of nearly equal greatness, Sam Elliott, with whom she has been married since 1984 (27 years and counting). No wonder Sam Elliott looks so happy all the time!
Anyway, The Final Countdown isn’t the worst way to spend an hour and a half, but it doesn’t hold up well after 31 years. The twist is obvious, the ‘action’ too far and few between, and while it is watchable, only 6 years later Top Gun came out and made everyone forget about any previous aircraft carrier based movie, time travel or not.