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Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish...all forms of life.
The countdown has begun...48 hours to doomsday. Only Special Forces Can Stop The Clock.
Cast | Formats | Notes | Pictures | Synopsis - Official | My Summary | My Review
|General Seward||Malcolm McDowell|
|Morgan||Louis Gossett, Jr.|
|Communications Officer||Biski Gugushe|
|MP #1||Mark Holden|
|MP #2||Mark Gibbon|
|Stripper #1||Alannah Stewart|
|Stripper #2||Tara Brandolini|
Directed by Richard Pepin
Written by Terry Cunningham & Mick Dalrymple
VHS - PAL / DVD R1 - no extras, full frame
Originally Released as Y:2:K in 1999 in the UK, 99 mins, Rated 18, Dolby Stereo, EVV 1490, VFC 11544, FACT, VPRC, UPC 5017239114908 by Entertainment in Video
Released in the US by First Look Home Entertainment as Terminal Countdown, since the name was outdated in 12/01, 104 mins, Rated R. ISBN 0-941981-62-0, UPC 6 87797 9409 7, FLP-94909, Dolby Stereo
Filmed in Canada.
Malcolm first appears onscreen at 10:35.
MM's screen credit
Seward at the computer
Seward pissed off at Vincent
VHS Y:2:K PAL Label
VHS Y:2:K PAL Box - Front
VHS Y:2:K PAL Box - Back
DVD Terminal Countdown - Front
DVD Terminal Countdown - Back
At 12:01 on the first day of the new millennium tiny clocks in millions of computers malfunction. Some cancel your favorite TV show, others cause headaches on wall street or power failures in hospitals, and one, operating a top secret missile silo in the Colombian jungles, will think it's 1969 and the United States has just suffered a nuclear attack!
With only 48 hours to go, a crack team of brains, brawn and bravery is assembled and flown deep into the jungle which has its own dangers; hostile drug lords protecting their territories and other deadly obstacles, but the most shocking discovery awaits them behind the silo doors...
Deep in the jungles of South America lies a forgotten relic of the Cold War. On the eve of the new millennium, the Y2K bug activates a secret U.S. missile installation, threatening to unleash nuclear terror on an unsuspecting world. Racing against the clock, a team of commandos is sent to infiltrate the hidden bunker and disarm the warhead, at any cost. Action and intrigue collide in this explosive tale of doomsday suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat - down to the last second.
A KGB agent in Columbia is following a drug
lord and listening to him in a church on Christmas 1999. A week later NORAD is having
a New Year's Eve party in San Francisco and Ken is in charge. He isn't happy to
see Vince is in charge of the effects which include a satellite uplink to the
International Space Station. Ken is dating Chloe who used to go out with Vince
and they all exchange words. After the countdown and the satellite hookup are
shown Ken tells Chloe that she is sweeter than sugar. Vince gets revenge by
changing the TV to a tape of Ken with two strippers and he is feeding them the
same line. Everyone at the large party sees it and Vince goes off on Ken
threatening to kill him. Vince throws him in a fountain and steals Ken's car.
Ken takes another car and begins chasing him. They go down the famous steep
streets and even stairs. Ken traps him in a construction area and Vince drives
his car off a bridge before jumping out. Before Ken can pound him a NORAD guard
takes him away.
There has been a glitch in the system. The Y2K bug has convinced a biological missile in Columbia to launch at Moscow in 40 hours. There is no way to stop it without the Leo code. General Seward is in charge of NORAD and is hoping that it is another one of Vince's pranks. He is already in trouble for rigging a satellite to show a White Zombie concert on his campus among other things. Vince tells him he didn't do it. Seward asks him to fix it and he tells him the computer will only recognize Leo. He thinks that since it reset that it would go back to the first person who gave it the code in 1969.
Seward calls up the head of the CIA - Blanchard. He asks him who Leo is and he informs him that Leo was Richard Nixon, who has been dead for years. There is no way to remotely change the code without going to Columbia. The only other thing to do is to get someone who was involved in the original project. There were three men and only one is still alive. He is Morgan and is rotting away playing poker in a VA hospital.
Two F-16s flying close to the silo are attacked, there is no way to blow it up from the sky unless they use a nuclear bomb as a last resort. So the CIA takes charge as it is their problem. Agent Fairchild will lead the marine insertion into Columbia along with Vince and Morgan. Vince will be a free man if he can get the job done and Seward has something big promised to him.
Fairchild tells Vince the silo is one of 12 built in case Russia blew up the US from within. Then the missiles would launch on Russia - a last line of defense to discourage attack. The marines fly a pair of helicopters into the jungle and drop down. Vince gets caught on his line and falls the last 10 feet to the ground. They have to land three hours away from the base so it doesn't attack them. Thompson is put with Vince to protect him and they have to cross a ravine by rope and Vince almost falls off in the middle and Fairchild has to rescue him. Soon after they take a break. No one likes Vince because he is a computer geek Gumball and others played a joke on him by giving him the food twice, but there was none left.. They only take some liking to him when he shows them some porn he downloaded. But when Vince asks what Thompsons' medical bracelet means, they don't like him again.
A few minutes later a firefight erupts. Camarillo, the local drug lord, has an army and they ambush the marines and they are cut to shreds. Thompson and Vince jump off a cliff into a river and Morgan and Fairchild escape into the woods. No one else survives. Morgan and Fairchild are soon captured by a Russian KGB agent, Myra. She decides to help them and takes them back to her fully loaded base. She has been placed there to keep an eye on things, especially the silo. Morgan fills her in and she agrees to help them.
The silo has a massive perimeter of defenses. There is a laser grid that when activated opens up one of 15 machine guns. The river is only 18 inches deep and filled with land mines. They have to make a raft and float in on their backs. Myra goes off to get the supplies and runs into Vince and Thompson. Together they work to get the job done as there are now only eight hours to go until launch. Morgan and Vince have to lie on the raft and float toward the door while Myra uses her laser scope to divert the beams. Everything goes smoothly until the last beam when a giant snake slithers right near Myra's head, but doesn't attack her. Vince doesn't really believe Morgan about the mines so he throws a rock in the water triggering a big explosion. There is a secret link port outside that will turn off all the outer defenses. They have a card, but no code. All Vince has to do is get the code in 10 seconds before the machine guns open up. The best he can do is 15 seconds and he pulls it off as the guns are ready to fire.
The rest of the group arrives and Morgan swipes his card at the door, but it doesn't work. The silo will only let people out once a launch is initiation, but not in. A new plan is devised. Morgan, Vince and Fairchild will climb into the vent and wait. Thompson will lower Myra into the exhaust shaft. She drops a flare into the main computer room and the computer thinks there is a fire so it vents all the air out of the building to put it out. This opens a hatch and the three men are able to go in. They go to the main terminal with only two hours to go. When Myra gets out Thompson and his new troops capture her.
Vince figures the easiest solution is to launch the missile into space. Morgan needs some medicine so he leaves to see if there is any on hand. Vince lets Thompson and Myra in, as well as the troops. Fairchild tells them there has been a change and gives him new coordinates. Instead of launching on Moscow, he want to launch the missile on Washington DC! His troops were in Desert Storm have all gotten the Gulf War Syndrome and the military won't do anything to help them. He figures by launching the same biological agent on DC they will come up with a cure really fast. When Myra confronts him, Vince hits a button to broadcast his conversation all across the silo. This gives Morgan a chance to hide. He takes out one soldier and goes outside and is quickly captured by Camarillo's men. They take him back to his compound and Morgan tells him he can either help him out or wait for the USA to nuke his country off the map to stop the missile. He agrees to help him with troops led by his son Paco. Camarillo gives Morgan some cocaine to ease his pain before they start.
He returns and the drug lord's troops kill all the men outside. Inside, Vince refuses to help, so Fairchild shoots Myra in the arm. He doesn't want to see her hurt so he agrees to help, but gets a warning off to Seward that Fairchild took over and to call in a military strike. Seward calls in the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and launches F-16s to attack the base. They fire on it and damage the door for the missile to launch. Paco and his men start killing the men inside allowing Myra to get away. Myra and Camarillo dismantle the missile and take the biological capsule with them. Thompson leads Vince away and is attacked. Vince escapes and heads back to the computer. Myra catches up with Thompson and kills him. Fairchild tries to get the card to the silo from Morgan and he gives him the wrong card and he gets machine gunned. Vince can't get the missile to launch, but warns Seward to stop the attack. He has already launched the nuclear missile at the base, but has his F-16s shoot it down. The missile launches and the walls go up trapping Vince inside the control room.
Everyone else is outside and Camarillo double crosses Morgan. He wants the bio weapon for himself as a bargaining agent. No one will attack him as long as he has it. He drives up to some quicksand and plans to dump Morgan and Myra in. Before he can do that Vince crashes a truck into them, causing it to start to sink into the quicksand. Paco was in front of the truck and went under first. Morgan starts fighting with Camarillo and Vince runs to the cab where Myra has been tied up. He frees her as the quicksand is entering the truck and Morgan dumps Camarillo over the side. Vince wants to know what Morgan got as part of his deal. He tells them let's go to it.
Soon after the group are in Las Vegas. Vince tells Morgan that was a great deal, a trip to Vegas. Morgan tells him it is more than that. Now he owns his own Casino! Vince shows Myra how to play the slots his way - by cheating. He has a device that helps him win the jackpot. The End
Boy was this movie not what I expected! I
thought it would be some stupid scare tactic Y2K bug scam. Something like computers
crashing and power grids going down, throwing the world into chaos nonsense.
Thankfully it wasn't, which made it a very good film. In fact, it seems the CIA set
up the glitch so it really wasn't about Y2K at all - even better.
It was a bit hokey that this young computer hacker was busted by NORAD and forced to work for them. I can't imagine he would be trustworthy and they would just throw him right in jail. The whole big car chase scene in the beginning wasn't necessary either, in fact they could've trimmed out most of the first ten minutes. Vince being able to wire into an old system is also unbelievable. Lou Gosset kicking ass was also a bit far fetched since he was stuck in a VA hospital and on medication for many years. Also why would a drug lord and a US Colonel have been friends in the first place? If Myra was expendable then why did Fairchild just shoot her in the arm? He could've killed her. I guess keeping her alive was just bait to get Vince to do what they wanted. Plus he turned his back on her a lot and she could've jumped him.
The story did have an unexpected twist which scored it some points. I thought they were planning a biological attack on Russia by detonating the missile above them, but I was wrong. Even now the Gulf War Syndrome is still a controversial topic and to launch an attack on themselves to find a cure was a very cool original twist. The plan about the silo being built to prevent an attack from within was also a good idea.
The acting was solid throughout, especially Sarah since she is a young American girl in real life. She played a Russian pretty convincingly. Everyone else was basically unknown.
Malcolm had an important role as the General, but it wasn't a big role with almost all of his scenes occurring in the beginning. He has some good lines, especially when he was yelling at Vince. In his career he has played British officers, German officers and now American ones! I would've liked to have seen more of him and less of Vince in the beginning. It would've been even better if he helped lead the expedition instead of staying behind. He did do a very good job at playing the leader with the little he was given to work with.
Overall, any criticisms I have were pretty small. It was a good thriller. There was no mandatory sex scene either even though they had an attractive young woman in it which is another plus. Vince was somewhat annoying, but people like him would be. The story was different and had a twist, the acting was good, there was no super famous over acting people to distract me and they wrapped it up fast. This film was very tough to find in it's first few years of release because it only came out in the UK. In fact I had to buy a PAL tape of it and get it converted. It was rereleased under a new name in 2001 in the US to ditch the Y2K title and therefore is easier to find. It is definitely worth a look if you can find it - hunt for it.
This page © 2001-6 Alex D Thrawn. for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net