Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Manhattan Project Review

A teenager steals some plutonium from a top secret lab and makes a nuclear bomb.  From that one sentence, this movie could have had some pretty dark and tense aspects to it.  Add in the fact that it features John Lithgow and it could have really gotten twisted.  The problem is that it was made in the 80s.  All of the potential for an "edge of your seat" thriller is wasted.  Instead of using ominous music mixed with dark lighting and camera work, they decided to go with music and lighting that made the montages feel like they were part of an episode of Charles in Charge.  To refresh your memory, Scott Baio never made a nuclear bomb (at least I don't think he did).

One good part about this film is the performance by Lithgow.  That isn't surprising though.  He is a very good actor.  The rest is average to bad.  While the general idea of the story is good, the way it was told is not.  There are just way too many holes in everything that allow the whole thing to develop.  I know it was the 80s and technology wasn't as advanced back then but I'm still pretty sure that security at a top secret nuclear facility would have been better than it was in this movie.  Then there's the question of the kid's motives.  They try to make it a morality play but you always get the feeling that it's all just to get into Cynthia Nixon's pants.  The motives are never clear and you just don't really care by the time it's all done.

Don't see it.  It may have been OK 25 years ago.  But it does not stand the test of time.

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