The last time I watched this was many many moons ago, at my friend Andy's insistence. Andy had a proclivity for odd films and still does - over the years many weird and neat films have been recommended and become favorites as a result of his recommendations, and many horrible hours have been wasted watching crap as a result of his recommendations too. Regardless, Andy's recommendations have always been interesting.
This was one of his, back in my college years. This was back before Anthony Edwards was a star from ER, and before I had any idea who Mare Winningham was, I hadn't even seen St. Elmo's Fire. Now that I've reviewed the film, it's alot more present.
So, it is a very "dated" film. The "mobile" phone Landa (played by none other than Denise Crosby aka Tasha Yar from Star Trek: TNG) has is bigger than her arm. The clothes, hair, spandex, all scream 80's.
Aside from that, it is an interesting study in what would the world have done before our current interconnected times if a nuclear bomb was detonated? If you were in LA in 1988 and it was 4 am and you got a call from someone saying they worked in a missile silo and we're struck another country with a bomb and they were going to retaliate with a bomb that was going to detonate in an hour and half what would you do? Keep in mind, the person who called was gunned down in mid panic to you.
Think about it. You're outside a diner, you're looking panicked, there's a couple of joe-schmoes, a businesswoman, a stewardess, and a drag queen inside. Would they believe you? Should they believe you? Do you believe what you just heard? If you do believe - what do you do? Who do you tell? How do you save yourself? The character answers for himself all of these questions, and every time he does it's painful to watch, because in the back of your mind, you're not sure.
There was no twitter, no internet, nothing but the phone book and your intuition, and besides, the cold war was just ending...we were still afraid of the USSR at that time.
It's a great premise, and it would be great if somehow it could be updated and upgraded, but I'm just not sure if today we're as afraid of nukes as say - our rights being taken away, and as a country I'd say we're more afraid of losing status. Strangely, these things seem to be more along our current distopian lines.
The acting was pretty good, and the scenes of rioting were remniscent of the riots in LA, and it was odd to see that.
Winningham's character is a twit, and just didn't do it for me, I found the connection between her and Edwards' character to be lacking, a couple dates does not make an apocoplytic partner.
Not someone you'd go through a lot of trouble for at least. In apocolyptic romances I'm more likely to think of Liz and Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, not these two. I personally would have ditched her sorry butt and gone out and found the nearest fallout bunker, which strangly wasn't an included option for anyone in this film.
I think was worth a watch, not among the best of the anti-nuke films but not that bad either. It is however fun to watch and see who later became known and famous from it. I thought it was kinda neat that the big bad alien hunter from X-files (Brian Thompson) was in it, who was also in Star Trek:DSN. Also, the man who later became Bubba from Forrest Gump has a small but pivotal role. It seems this was a good role for a number of people, and was all in all a well rounded film.