Final Countdown, What is the fascination ? (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Edwin-S, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I have read a few threads where people are wilting in anticipation for the release of Final Countdown . I am curious why the fascination with this movie. It has been a lot of years since I saw the movie so if I get some details wrong, please correct me. When I watched this film years ago, I thought it had some pretty decent arieal shots, however, nothing ever happens in this movie. A modern aircraft carrier with a massive amount of firepower is sent back in time to just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The possibilties for this movie looked pretty good, since the premise was an interesting one.
    The actual execution turned, what could have been a really interesting movie, into one that actually, by the end, was completely pointless. They end up going back in time,flying around for a bit, detect the Japanese air strike heading for Pearl Harbor, launch a possible preemptive attack and then........do absolutely nothing. The time warp shows up and they go back to their own time without ever doing anything, except to leave one of their crew behind. The whole thing takes place just so one guy, who seems to have trouble scoring in his time, can go back to the past and find his true love? Talk about wasted potential.
    This movie could have been great had they gone back, destroyed the Japanese attack and then all of sudden they are back in the future and you see what the consequences of their actions were. For example, the United States prior to the attack was neutral and had not made any declaration of war against Germany. After the attack, war was declared on Japan by the U.S. and in turn Germany declared war on the United States because of their alliance with Japan. What might have happened if they had interfered with the Japanese attack, resulting in the U.S never declaring war against Japan and in turn being kept out of the war with Germany. This could have been one of several interesting speculations had the filmmakers decided to go that route. Instead, they ended up making a mundane romance with lots of pretty pictures of jets flying around and absolutely no point. Please enlighten me as to what makes this movie such a must have. Thanks.
     
  2. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    Since you haven't seen it in a while, are you under the impression they they were purposely sent? Because that would certainly change the tone of it an affect your enjoyment. If I remember correctly they were caught up in an anomloy of some sort and ended up back in time just prior to the attack on Pearl.

    I've always liked this as I like alternate history stories. It's a lot of weight on their shoulders to decide wether or not to change history as they know it. THe consequences could be better or much worse. I guess that's what I like about it.
     
  3. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    I saw this at the theater when it came out and came away disapointed with the lack of development of the potential. Back to the Future came out only five years later and got all of the elements right.
    You could have had some fun with the concept though. The Nimitz Captain decides to overrule the "History Officer" and have the U.S. Navy fighters buzz the Japanese fleet who take photos and movies of these "wonder weapons". The Imperial Fleet returns to port and the Janapese military realize that they would suffer a rapid defeat at the hands of the Americans. They pull out of Mancheria and get the oil embaro lifted by the U.S. The Japanese never tell the Americans that they know of the "secret weapon" and of course the Americans don't know they even have them. The Japanese become content to start shipping Ginzu knives to us.
    The war in Europe results in the defeat of Germany by Russia, with all of the area from the German-French border east under Soviet control and subjugation. Germany suffers the fate of all other areas under Soviet control and after all industry and scientists are removed to Russia, and the country becomes an economic black hole.
    With no war to hone the development of weapons and strategies, the US never becomes a global presence and is content to maintain a coastal fleet and continue the small and inefficient standing army that it fielded between the wars.
    The ship jumps back and forth in time and the "Historical Officer" on the Nimitz struggles with the implications of a jump that will take the ship back before their initial contact.
    Yeah, pretty silly huh, but not any more so than the lame story that was presented in the movie.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Ashley, your scenario sounds WAY too busy to fit into a two hour movie. The movie as is keeps the premise simple.
     
  6. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I really dislike it when people say what a movie they saw should have been like. We are not talking details here, the paragraph above describes a whole different movie, with a whole different focus!!!

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    Sorry. I think you have misunderstood my intent when I wrote the offending paragraph. I was not saying it should have been this way, just that it could have been, had the makers of this movie actually exercised any imagination. As it was they decided to take the easy way out and avoid doing anything that could have made the movie unique. The whole concept was wide open to an interesting speculative fiction. High concept of "heavily armed modern carrier thrown back in time to a critical nexus in history effects change of "possibly" historical proportions" gets changed to a lame concept of "modern carrier gets thrown

    back in time to critical nexus so crewman can find a wife, and then goes home. Why bother making a film like that?

    Which leads me to this:

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    . What real/desk pilot hasn't dreamt of witnessing an anachronic dogfight?

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    Exactly.....that is what the concept of this movie seemed to be indicating was going to happen.........Except..........it didn't. In fact, nothing happened, no dogfight, no battle, nada......except, of course, the crewman who stays behind and gets the girl.

    I could imagine him thinking......"Thank god for that time warp, otherwise I might never have got laid".

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    Also, it is a damn fine action movie for any military aviation nuts

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    I think I may have to have my memory refreshed.....but what action? I don't call footage of carrier launches and closeups up of Skull and Cross bones on vertical fins, "action". I would call it wallpaper, eyecandy or advertising. I'm not knocking anyone for wanting to own a copy of the movie. I just have a hard time figuring out why. This movie starts out with a strong concept, with all manner of possible permutations.......meanders along showing pretty pictures of the power the carrier possessed and then sputters to a denouement that leaves you wondering why they spent the previous hour and forty minutes showing what the carrier was capable of doing, since they never intended to do anything with it anyway.

    If they wanted to make a time travelling story of starcrossed lovers, why bother bringing a carrier into it?
     
  7. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    I liked Ashley's thought experiment. And since I like thought experiments, I also disagree with the critique that Edwin's premise in questioning the movie is flawed.

    Many critiques of movies, not just movies about time warps, are about what could have been, with critiques ranging from actors to plot twists.

    That said, at least Edwin got folks who liked the movie to come out and explain their preferences. Edwin asked a question that was lurking in my mind too.

    Dan
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    OK, while I see your point better now, I still like the movie as it is. [​IMG]
    But you did point out something interesting, that they never played with at all: That guy who got left behind must have influenced history somehow... He lived through the War and most of the Cold War knowing exactly what would happen in the future, and all that he seems to have gotten off it is perhaps to become rich (didn't they have a limousine at the end?)...
    Pearl harbor might not have been prevented, but he had plenty of chances to change many other things, unless he was the one character who didn't agree with changing history? Or perhaps he was stuck on that Island for most of the 40 years... I dunno...
    --
    Holadem
     
  9. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Joseph Howard

    Joseph Howard Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you are also missing some of the point.

    The "history" of the event happened just as it did. They

    were not able to "change" or "alter" anything because

    they were part of the events that occurred as they did.

    The "older verison of the history officer" sent back

    the "younger version" of himself to MAKE SURE THE EVENTS

    HAPPENED AS THEY HAD ALREADY OCCURRED. Thus this was a

    story about protecting the current "future" and NOT a story about

    "changing the past."
     
  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    Yeah, this is one of those stupid movies that makes you use your own imagination.
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    Hmmm....I never actually stated anywhere that the movie was stupid just that it might have been so much more with a broader sense of the imaginative. "Stupid movie" is more your invention.......nothing subliminal going on there, is there? [​IMG]
    ------------------------------------------------------------The "older verison of the history officer" sent back
    the "younger version" of himself to MAKE SURE THE EVENTS
    HAPPENED AS THEY HAD ALREADY OCCURRED. Thus this was a
    story about protecting the current "future" and NOT a story about "changing the past."
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, like I said it has been a lot of years since I saw it but If the above is the case then it reinforces the pointlessness of the movie. IIRC, the American carrier is the only modern device thrown back in time, therefore, they are the only thing the future/past needs protecting against since they are the only thing that could affect the future/past. Since they are the only thing the future/past needs protecting against why go back so that they can protect a known historical timeline against themselves; might as well stay home and avoid the hassle. [​IMG]
    If the carrier was tossed back in time by an unpredictable anomaly, then how would the "older history officer" know to assign his "younger self" to protect history as we know it. Seems like a conundrum.
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    That guy who got left behind must have influenced history somehow... He lived through the War and most of the Cold War knowing exactly what would happen in the future, and all that he seems to have gotten off it is perhaps to become rich (didn't they have a limousine at the end?)...
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    This is an interesting observation and could have made an interesting story thread. It makes for a thought experiment. Just how would a person, who knows how the future turns out, function in life knowing that any action taken by him, even the smallest, might result in a catastrophic change to future as he knows it? Would it make a person catatonic or psychotic or would he really just end up not caring because maybe he thinks any action he takes changes the future into the one he was familiar with in the first place?
    It reminds me of something I read or saw once, where an expedition goes back in time and everyone is instructed to stay on a clearly marked trail at all costs. One expedition member strays off the trail and steps on an insect(?) and when they return to the future the Germans have won the war. Don't ask me how that happened though? [​IMG]
    Edited to add to post.
     
  12. Jason Boucher

    Jason Boucher Stunt Coordinator

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    It satisfies two of my postulates on the mark of an enjoyable film-(1) involves time travel, (2) involves WWII.
     

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