The Final Countdown


Action / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 47%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 19


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM



Martin Sheen as Warren Lasky
Katharine Ross as Laurel Scott
Kirk Douglas as Capt. Matthew Yelland
Charles Durning as Senator Samuel Chapman
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1 hr 43 min
P/S 9/27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gold5 8 / 10

Having served on the Nimitz....

I saw this film before I joined the Navy and again before I served on Nimitz (CVN 68). Kind of a nice feather in my cap experiencing the world's largest 'time machine' in person!

On to the movie... A very interesting premise which should have merited a more detailed analysis! Executed well enough for 1980, but could be remade into one hell of a motion picture today! I'd love to see it.

One thing the story does well is get one thinking about the 'what-if' scenario having the most modern carrier in the today's fleet taking on the Japanese Navy almost 40 years prior... Hmm. What a mismatch that would be in much the same way that **** SPOILER ALERT **** Combat Air Patrol (CAP) Tomcats rendered the 'Zeroes ' splashed handily! But, the very nature of Paradoxes would have rendered intervention potentially destructive to Nimitz and all aboard! (Which would have made profound changes to MY naval career as well.) And that was the dilemma faced; Do we change history because we feel a conscious duty to tilt the war in our favor (At least in the short term.)? Or do we choose to let nature take its course knowing full well the outcome if nothing is done? 4 more years of war and millions of lives? Or win a decisive victory and save all of the agony yet to come at the possible expense of destroying the fabric of space/time... or at the very least causing the U.S. and the Allies to lose in the long run because the U.S. would have delayed entering the war? Thorny, eh? As it turns out, history in this film was changed in a minor way but then again... was it? Possible predestination paradox, meaning events were supposed to happen the way they did.

***SPOILER ALERT*** If the Nimitz had stayed to fight, logistically it would have been possible... for a short time. Without access to spare parts, jet fuel and other means of support, the ship would have been nearly useless. True, this vessel class can steam for over 20 years on a fresh set of plutonium rods, but jets can't fly without fuel or spare parts! And just imagine trying to provision that ship with its crew of 5000 plus with 1940's technology! This ignores what the U.S. Government would have done once they got their hands on Nimitz and her technology back then! The debriefing would never end for those people! And imagine the changes to history then! (Could be a whole other movie!)

All in all, I think it was a great piece of science fiction and a very enjoyable 'what if'... I recommend anyone see it who can! It has its flaws and is dated but the concept is still very valid. The movie's big strength is not so much what is said, but what is not. The important stuff is left to the viewer's imagination, and this is what makes it very entertaining and provocative!

This is the movie that made the USS Nimitz a household word and I am very proud to have served on a piece of science fiction history (no pun intended)! The ship is very distinguished and far more impressive 'in the steel' than she is on film.

I give this film a 7.9/10. Mostly for the powerful premise.

Reviewed by Idocamstuf 8 / 10

I really enjoyed it

This was a highly entertaining sleeper about a naval ship that happens to go through a time warp and end up at Pearl Harbor just hours before the attack in 1941. Realistic acting, special effects and air scenes really make this movie stand out from other similar movies. I'm really surprised that this film is not more popular, because this was a very unique and fascinating concept for a movie, especially back in 1980. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good science-fiction film. I'm also surprised that it has such a low rating, I was expecting it to be rated at least a 7. Ill give it an 8 out of 10. Well worth viewing.

Reviewed by lawprof 8 / 10

When the Propmaster is the Chief of Naval Operations

Making a military movie without official cooperation can be difficult. If the story doesn't require major air or naval assets, a script disapproved of by the top brass can be convincingly brought to the screen. Two examples - both true stories that the Pentagon didn't want to support - are "Men of Honor" reflecting the epidemic racism of the not-that-long-ago Navy and "Sgt. Bilko," a film portraying what some noncoms do to earn extra income (trust me, it's a true story: a real Sgt. Bilko worked (officially but not actually) for me when I was an Army officer.

But when you need lots of planes and ships, you gotta have official help. And few movies have gotten more assistance than the producer, director and cast of "The Final Countdown," now available on DVD,a sci-fi recruiting spectacular that features - on loan at taxpayer expense - the huge carrier U.S.S. Nimitz complete with crew. Now that's cooperation!

Kirk Douglas skippers the supercarrier which is on Pacific Fleet maneuvers. On board as some sort of efficiency consultant is a young Martin Sheen, not yet ready for the West Wing. A mysterious and never explained weather phenomenon grips the mighty floating air base and to the unfolding amazement of captain, officers and crew dawns the realization that the Nimitz in sailing not that far from Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941.

Meanwhile a U.S. senator, played by one of Hollywood's deservedly decorated war heroes, Charles Durning, is enjoying his yacht, also near Pearl, while dictating to his lovely secretary, Katharine Ross. A brace of Japanese Zeroes sink the yacht, killing two passengers which then prompts the carrier C.O. to order trailing F-14 Tomcats to "splash" the "enemy." Durning and Ross are rescued. Without a word, this talented actor's face does a comical double-take when introduced to the ship's executive officer who just happens to be black (in 1941 a black navy man could only serve as a steward in the officers mess. That was it. Period.)

The dilemma facing Douglas, of course, is a classic time-travel conundrum. To interfere with the course of history (the carrier's air wing can make instant teriyaki of the six Japanese carriers) or to let events take their known and disastrous course.

A chaste incipient romance between the nearly drowned damsel and the carrier's Commander Air Group competes with the white knuckle decision-making struggle of the C.O.

So much for the plot. What is on offer here is a demonstration of every aircraft type, fixed-wing and rotary, deployed on the vessel as well as demonstrations of shipboard activities ranging from retrieving a damaged jet to going to General Quarters name it. The technical advisers knew they had a film crew pliant to every suggestion. The result is a genuinely exciting show- a great warship going through its paces. And, unlike "Tora Tora Tora" it doesn't appear that any genuine sailors were harmed in the making of the movie.

There's one big problem. A science fiction story is usually utterly improbable, indeed impossible, but its internal logic is vital: it must be consistent. Spielberg understands that very well. Watch the first couple of minutes when Sheen is greeted by his employer's lackey and the last minutes when he debarks from the Nimitz. Something is very, very off-kilter. Could the CEO of a great military-industrial conglomerate have used top secret technology to send the carrier back to 1941 for...

So what. This is a beautifully filmed adventure story, not a great film. The cast probably relished taking over the carrier for a while and the real captain, never shown, surely wished that the Navy hadn't banned hard spirits from our ships in World War I. But all emerge unscathed in a genuinely entertaining romp through time.


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