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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Pandora's Clock (1996)



Reviews and Comments

Above average made-for-TV thriller about a suspected deadly virus loose on a 747. The story is quite complex, told from many different viewpoints, both from characters on the plane and on the ground. Richard Dean Anderson is the plane's pilot; Daphne Zuniga is a medical expert trying to wade through political spaghetti to do the right thing. While it makes for tense, engrossing entertainment, it has its share of flaws. It's not hard to nitpick at it, but two major problems are horrendous irritations: (1) it talks down to the audience; we don't need to be told that the Central Intelligence Agency is the CIA, or that "no signs of a viral infection" means that no viruses were found; (2) the conclusion of the show, while in some ways more realistic than a more conventional ending, introduces some gaping plot holes of its own and, worse, is gratuitous and irresponsible. Nevertheless, I recommend this production for large-scale disaster film fans.