In 1980, the assistant of the Department of Defense Warren Lasky is assigned by his mysterious chief Richard Tideman to visit the aircraft carrier USS Nimtz commanded by Capt. Matthew Yelland as an observer of the routines. Lasky finds that Wing Commander Richard T. Owens has a great knowledge of history. Out of the blue, the vessel faces a weird storm and they find that they have traveled back in time to the eve of the attack of Pearl Harbor on 06 December 1941. When the two Japanese Zeros attack the motorboat of Senator Samuel Chapman, the crew of the Nimitz rescues the senator and his assistant Laurel Scott. But sooner Lasky learns that the senator had disappeared on that day and Capt. Matthew Yelland is planning to attack the Japanese. Will these actions create a time paradox? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The movie was used as a recruiting drive for the US Navy with the maritime force sponsoring the picture's premiere whilst the film's movie poster was displayed in branch recruitment offices. See more »
When the helicopter that brings Mr. Lasky aboard circles the ship, there are aircraft parked at the rear of the ship obscuring the landing area, yet once the helicopter lifts off after dropping Mr. Lasky off on the ship, the captain orders the air boss to "continue fixed-wing recovery". This would not have been possible with those parked planes in the way, and there's too short a time between when the chopper gets clear and when Commander Owens' plane lands to move the planes on the deck. Furthermore, if they had been in the process of landing planes when Lasky arrived, those planes would have already been out of the way to begin with. See more »
[voice over radio]
Pearl Tower, Tomcat two-zero-zero. requesting clearance for departure runway zero-nine. Over.
Pearl Harbor Tower:
[voice over radio]
Two-zero-zero, Pearl Harbor Tower. You are cleared runway oh-niner. Winds zero-four-five at eight. SH-three approaching from the right. Have a nice day.
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There are great films ("Citizen Kane," eg), and there are "big films", like "ET" or "Star Wars." Then there are absolute crap films (eg, WAY too-many to list!). I propose another legitimate category: "Guilty Pleasure Films." These are movies that one can see over and over, through countless repetitions on cable and broadcast channels, and enjoy the experience every time.
For example, I have probably seen "Brighton Beach Memoirs" 40 times. I loved it during its first run, and I've loved it each of the 39 times I've seen it on the small screen. No, it's not a great movie, but it's one that brings me pleasure when I watch it. Same with (blush) "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure": the movie's stupid, but it just always entertains me!
Similarly, nobody is going to compare "The Final Countdown" to "2001: A Space Odyssey" as far as absolute quality, but "The Final Countdown" is a classic example of an unabashed "guilty pleasure" movie.
The story is intriguing--what would YOU do if you were commanding a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier full of supersonic jets, etc, when you were transferred through a time-warp (ref: a CHEESY looking laser and smoke effect storm!) to December 6, 1941?? Would you alter history, just to win a battle against those attacking Pearl Harbor? Or would you hold back because you'd change history if you did anything?
Interesting point! Kirk Douglas, as the ship's captain, looks like he's having a ball acting in this, and Martin Sheen does a great job as the "civilian consultant," Mr. Laskey.
No, this movie isn't an Oscar-winner, nor did it really deserve to be. But I'll put it this way. A local independant station showed "The Final Countdown" tonight at the same time TNN was showing "The Godfather 2" uncut.
I spent maybe five minutes on the Oscar-winning Godfather 2. Yes, it is an empirically great film, but I've seen it once before. But with American fighter jets dogfighting 1941 Japanese Zeros, I was FAR more entertained watching "The Final Countdown" for the 10th time!
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