By Steve D. Stones
I remember seeing The Final Countdown at the North Star drive-in in the back of my parents’ blue Pinto when I was eight years old. I stuffed my face with popcorn for the first part of the movie, and then feel asleep during the second half. It wasn’t until recently that I got to see the entire film when I bought a DVD copy of it put out by Blue Underground Entertainment. The DVD is digitally mastered with THX sound and picture quality in the widescreen format.
Unlike so many of the films we review here at Plan 9 Crunch, The Final Countdown is a well-made film with an intelligent script and two great Hollywood actors – Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen.
The story takes place aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz, a large nuclear powered aircraft naval carrier. The carrier is on routine maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean near Pearl Harbor when suddenly a bizarre electrical storm engulfs the carrier and takes it back in time to December 6th, 1941, just before the Japanese fleet attacks the harbor. The captain, played by Kirk Douglas, is forced to make a decision to change the course of history by attacking the Japanese fleet, or allow history to remain the same by not attacking.
The entire film plays out like an old episode of the Twilight Zone TV series. Some of the special effects scenes during the electrical storm are dated, but overall The Final Countdown is an intelligent, entertaining and suspenseful film worthy of viewing..