Picks and Pans Review: The Tragedy of Flight 103: the Inside Story

updated 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Sun., Dec. 9, 9 P.M. ET)

B-

This dramatic re-creation of the events leading up to the 1988 bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed all 259 aboard is the type of investigative movie of which the cable channel is inordinately fond.

In a variation on the role he played in ABC's Challenger movie last February, Peter Boyle is the whistle-blower who warns airline executives Ned Beatty and Vincent Gardenia two years before the bombing that security measures are not sufficient. Boyle is dismissed even as Arab extremists are organizing terrorist cadres. (The voice-over points out that Pan Am was adding a $5 surcharge on transatlantic tickets to pay for security measures that were never implemented.)

The movie amounts to an expectable indictment of blinding corporate greed but at least avoids the other temptation of painting the Arabs behind the plot (Sasson Gabay, Aharon Ipalé and Zaffar Shafeie) in inflammatory hues.

Despite being detailed and accusatory, the film is a little too businesslike to be entertaining.

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