Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by
It's a fun film that presents an interesting scenario and raises a unique possibility. What it lacks in depth and acting skills it more than makes up for as a thoroughly enjoyable popcorn film.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The Final Countdown is an action picture, not a thoughtful rumination on time travel, nor even (per Time After Time) a picture with a puzzle - everything is subordinate here to the sweep and grandeur of an awe-inspiring, ocean-going masterpiece of American technology. [02 Aug 1980]
As a documentary on the USS Nimitz, The Final Countdown is wonderful. As entertainment, however, it has the feeling of a telepic that strayed onto the big screen. The magnificent production values provided by setting the film on the world's largest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier can't transcend the predictable cleverness of a plot that will seem overly familiar to viewers raised on Twilight Zone reruns.
The Final Countdown is clunky, square filmmaking, but it's rarely boring, and the screenwriters come up with a final mysterious twist that saves the movie at the last moment from a disastrously anti-climactic turn of events. [18 Aug 1980, p.85]
This is the kind of movie that some kids would probably enjoy - it's filled with technology, special effects and action. But it just doesn't make any sense. And It lacks the wit to have fun with its time travel paradoxes, as last year's wonderful Time After Time did. It just plows ahead. Or behind. Or somewhere.
Little more than a lengthy Twilight Zone episode.
Time Out
An idea worthy of Harlan Ellison, but disappointingly fumbled. Taylor handles most of the aircraft carrier material like a recruiting film, and though the script manages a few deft twists and turns, and even a neat final frisson, it ultimately works more on the tease level of a TV episode than as a movie.
Washington Post
The Final Countdown emerges from a round trip through this time-bending exercise flattened into a two-dimensional letdown. [01 Aug 1980, p.C7]
The New York Times
The footage dealing with the mechanics of the Nimitz is, in fact, interesting, and there is one quite comic sequence in which several of the Nimitz's jet fighters take on two, totally baffled World War II-vintage Japanese Zeros. As an entertainment film, though, the movie is utter nonsense. [01 Aug 1980, p.C3]

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