Picks and Pans Review: The Final Countdown

UPDATED 09/08/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/08/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

There is something demeaning about a movie starring a boat, and we've already had Death Ship and Raise the Titanic this year. Here the U.S.S. Nimitz (the world's largest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, playing itself) hardly deserves the affection lavished on it by director Don (Omen II) Taylor. Planes zoom off into the blue yonder only to return minutes later in a joyless celebration of technology. Time warp is the theme. Although the subject was handled better in 1979's Time after Time, the scenario has possibilities: A bizarre storm off Hawaii sweeps the Nimitz back to Dec. 6, 1941. The captain (Kirk Douglas) has the foreknowledge and firepower to change history—but does he dare? Other pressing questions are: What is a fine actor like Martin Sheen doing in this movie? What strange bond exists between Katharine Ross and her collie? Was it paternal duty or poor judgment that led Kirk to star in 24-year-old son Peter's first effort as a producer? As a Navy recruiting film, this might have floated; as a feature, it's dead in the water. (PG)

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