Top positive review
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For the purposes of this communication you can call me... Juggernaut
on 24 March 2009
A liner in the middle of a storm riven Atlantic. 8 bombs aboard set to go off at dawn. A race against time to catch the bobmer and defuse the devices. So far so standard 1970's disaster movie. But there is something that sets this apart from the rest. There are no hysterically overdone performances here, heroic dramatic sacrifices, tearful confessions or the other overacted staples of the genre. That isn't to say there isn't a feeling of tension - there's plenty of that. But the understated performances of many of the cast, especially those portraying the passengers, really does give the impression of normal people dealing with extraordinary circumstances.
Richard Harris finds himself perfectly cast as the head of the bomb disposal team, scarred by a life spent on the edge. Anthony Hopkins as the detective quitely and calmly trying to find the bomber turns in a worthy performance. Ian Holme stands out as the beleagured chair of the liner company. The best turn though is Roy Kinnear's entertainment officer, trying to keep everyone's spirits up in those last few fateful hours.
The scenes of the attempts to defuse the bombs are totally gripping, and contrast well with the stories of the passengers waiting nervously until dawn for their fate. It is this contrast of quite realistic high drama with the tales of the 'ordinary folk' that makes this film such a standout for me.
A must see film.