Picks and Pans Review: Alistair Maclean's Death Train

updated 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

USA (Wed., April 14, 9 p.m. ET)


A band of mercenaries retained by a renegade Russian general (Christopher Lee) is transporting a nuclear bomb from Bremen, Germany, to Iraq aboard a hijacked train. The chief villain of the choo-choo crew is played by Ted Levine, who was the skin fetishist in Silence of the Lambs.

To derail this nefarious plot, a U.N. troubleshooter (Patrick Stewart—Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation) quickly assembles a crack international squad à la Mission: Impossible. His biggest hotshot operative (Remington Steele's, Pierce Brosnan) initially questions the qualifications of another team member (Baywatch's leggy Alexandra Paul): "She's too good-looking to be anything but window dressing."

"Michael," responds Stewart wearily, "Miss Carver speaks four languages; she runs the mile faster than you ever did. She's the best marksman I've ever known." Way to put that sexist dog in his place, Sir, but, umm, shouldn't it be "markswoman"?

This American-British-Croatian coproduction isn't even quite the equal of The Cassandra Crossing. But, hey, everything's relative on TV. The movie's plot, budget, cast and action sequences are leagues above USA's usual fare.

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