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Time-hoppers from the future, led by Cheryl Ladd, are abducting airline passengers about to crash, and transporting them a millennium hence in order to reseed a future blighted by environmental disaster. This is a dangerous business, plagued by the specter of accidentally creating time paradoxes, which could throw the future out of whack. Unfortunately, they've lost a couple of the stunners they use to subdue troublesome passengers, and these fall into the hands of a curious physicist (Daniel J. Travanti) and an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (Kris Kristofferson). Cheryl Ladd must retrieve these devices before a time paradox wipes out her world, but manages to complicate things by developing a romance with Kristofferson. All of which is very intriguing, having come from the short story, "Air Raid," by science fiction luminary John Varley, who also is credited with the screenplay. The part about airline abductions to save the disastrous future is straight from the original story, and the rest is expanded (you wouldn't say extrapolated) from it. The results are not very happy. About a third of the film is maddeningly wasted by repeating action from a different point of view. Seems natural when there are disparate timelines to deal with, but here nothing is added by the conceit. Only Travanti turns in a creditable performance as the physicist, bent on proving his theories about the future. He seems hungry for discovery, which is one of the things you want from a science fiction story, that sense of awe. But here it's just, "Aw, shucks!" --Jim Gay
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The film is a bit dated as in 1989 they are worried about acid rain, now we worry about global warming. Cheryl chain smokes in order to keep up her hydrocarbons, and in the 1963 air crash you can see the stewardess serving cigarettes. The robot has the best lines as far as humour is concerned. There is one extended scene on the romance between Kris and Cheryl, that is repeated, this only works because one is before we know she is a time traveller and the second after we know that she is a time traveller. The inevitable happens and a time paradox occurs leading to... The SFX are OK for 1989. All in all a good film which has been scripted very well. I was able to watch the DVD twice when I got it, I first saw the film on TV 15 years ago. It is underrated by the Sci Fi guys IMHO.
Conceivably, more time could have been spent investigating the wreckage (and similar wreckages) before revealing the time travelers from the future. Also, why don't they fix these ripples, instead of trying to escape them?
So there are some questions. If I could, I'd give this one 2-1/2 stars, not three, but I won't drop it all the way to two, mostly because no one else has done this exact story, unless it was Rod Serling in the original Twilight Zone series, but I don't think so... there are similar stories, to be sure, and time travel stories, but not in this combination.
Which puts this film into the "Twilight Zone" category for me. There are so many places where they could have made this one better, I have to wonder why no one has done a remake...
Still, it is part of my collection and if you are SF buff, then don't leave this off your list of films to consider without at least watching it.
And it's *boring*, too. Kristoferson and Ladd have absolutely ZERO chemistry. No, in fact, they have NEGATIVE chemistry. Kristoferson couldn't act is way out of this script, and Ladd ... well, jeez, what could one expect from an ex-Charlie's Angel?
It's also *ugly*. The costumes, set designs, and special effects would have been bad in 1989, and haven't aged well. Post-apocolyptic futures can look cool (ROAD WARRIOR) or even funky (12 MONKEYS), but here, it's just lame. And the first "effect" in the film--where two planes collide--is a sad effort of blue-screening that my high-school film club could have outdone.
Avoid at all costs. Waste no money. If your boyfriend or girlfriend owns it, break up with them; it will be less painful.
I have to go sanitize my home theatre now.
Then again, if this was truly a good movie than we shouldn't be disappointed in seeing the scenes twice, since we could then enjoy good acting etc. Not so in Millennium. Kris Kristofferson looks grizzly with a heavy beard and has the skin tone of beef jerky. Cheryl Ladd plays opposite of Kristofferson as the time traveling tough women from the future who happens to know nothing about time traveling, she needs a personal robot to explain "the obvious" to her on many occasions. Maybe she forgot to read the script.
In this movie, the future is a place of rust, the present is a place of ignorance, and the viewer is left insulted.
It turns out there was a reason the passengers were so unusally silent and still... and it's a fascinating ride as you flow through the movie, you feel as though you're a part of the investigation.
There's something strangely satisfying about that, watching a movie about an air disaster and a subsequent investigation from the safety of your couch. I especially like the scene where they are listening to the cockpit recording.
I must've rented this movie enough times to pay for 5 copies before I finally bought it on DVD. My only complaint is that the soundtrack for this movie is not Dolby Digital.
Most recent customer reviews
This great Sci-Fi film needs to be put out on Blu-ray. Come on Universal, give it to us fans!Published 15 months ago by Eddy B
Time travel...Dystopian future meets the good old days of present day (1989). What we took for granted then: clean air, real food, safe sex, and woman who are still fertile, are... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Zed
If you like time-travelling, mysteries and beautiful ladies (and hunks, I guess), you'll love this. But don't blink or forget to pause if the phone rings, or the rest of the movie... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2011 by buckluck
We are medially confronted with a midair plain crash. In the confusion the navigator goes back into the cabin and is horrified by something. Read morePublished on July 9 2006 by B. Chandler
This movie is actually better than what others might think. But it requires your complete attention, and for a generation of people who are used to in-your-face MTV type... Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by T. Johnson