A nuclear silo is over run by a former general and three men he conscripted into his plan from death row. The former general Lawrence Dell sees that he has to reveal the deep failings and unsatisfactory conditions that were in play in the war in Vietnam. He has the presidents attention as Armageddon is easy to enact. The hijacked nuclear bombs can be bought back for 10 million, even with fail safes and defence systems in place he has activated them and Dell wants air force one to grant safe passage out.
Cant imagine that some of the viewers who watch this might miss out on the under laying commentary at its core. This is a bold statement film about the legacy of war, easy access to sensitive equipment and the travesty of military abuse. All 3 elements are put into a stew that simmers and bubbles up, revealing tensions that the 1977 knew were in the news and on the mind of many watching. Its commentary is still relevant now, albeit with names of countries changed and conditions altered.
A film of three session. one positive, one negative and one I am unsure of. The positive is the casting of Lancaster which is superb. The Hollywood golden age has its finest on display and he gives a central performance that is dynamic and intense. Lancaster study of a character arch and a performance in patient deconstruction of hope proved he was a mammoth talent. The negative is the ages of the core cast outside of him. This is telling in much of the central scenes and for me added a sore element. I for instance love Joe Cotton (So much so one day I will write a book on the great and charming man.) but here he looks unable to distil his craft.
The unsure point is the films length that I felt occasionally made the pacing slow and off balance but some might like it. It builds up and ebbs to the tension of reveal and realisation. The idea seemed to have been to ping pong the story to each camp and allow it to expose the frailty of respective focuses. It sadly makes one side, Lancaster’s dynamic and delirious and the other toward the end like a test in business math.
Disc is good enough and the transfer on the Blu is exceptional. the doc is average but the booklet inside the package is outstanding enough to make up for lost time.