17 May 2012 | sonthert
Set in Beautiful San Diego, an emergent Terrorist Threat
How this movie doesn't get more acclaim is strange.
The prophetic and imaginative Michael Crichton ("Andromeda Strain", "Coma", "WestWorld" directs his own screenplay. Michael Crichton had a prescience in his vision and this movie is no exception. Getting hung up on setting the movie "in the future" never presented a dilemma for Crichton. He just uses contemporary settings to bring the movie closer to home. The technology may be beyond our means, but it still affects us all today.
The movie stars brilliant and eclectic Ben Gazzara ("The Killing of a Chinese Bookie", "The Big Lebowski"), Storied great E.G. Marshall ("12 Angry Men", "Creepshow"), Prolific Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now", "The Dead Zone") and Television guest star William Windom ("Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine", "Escape from the Planet of The Apes").
The musical score is even composed by composer-great Jerry Goldsmith. Its reminiscent of "Hawaii 5-0", "McQ" or "The French Connection" a typical, but lively, 70s-style action cop-show movie background score. I love background scores like this. Its a really good one. The sunset of actual orchestral background scores.
The story revolves around a political activist-millionaire-terrorist who steals a large supply of nerve gas and threatens to release it in San Diego, which is hosting the Republican National Convention.
Sounds simple. The movie is really thrilling for a TV Movie, the story has a familiar contemporary feel, the acting and musical score are good. The movie was filmed in early 1970s San Diego and for anybody who loves or lives in San Diego (like me), the movie is a great archive piece to record how San Diego was 40 years ago. Much more watchable than "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".
Could the movie have been better? Sure it could. It suffered from low-budget syndrome. Michael Crichton's visionary writing shakes most of the deficiencies the move has and makes this a great TV-Special...certainly one of my top 10-made for TV Movies of all time.