Sunday, November 4, 2012

THE CHINA SYNDROME (1979)

A three person news crew (reporter Jane Fonda, cameraman Michael Douglas and a sound dude) are doing a puff piece on energy and taking a tour of a nuclear power plant outside of Los Angles.  While in the control room area they observe (and secretly film) a near meltdown.  When the people who own the plant find out about the tape, they'll do anything they can to suppress it.  Even murder.  Added to this already intense situation, during the near meltdown supervisor Jack Lemmon felt a slight vibration that nobody else felt and he thinks that the main pump is in danger of a catastrophic failure.  His bosses think differently and want the plant put back online as soon as possible.

I have no idea how realistic THE CHINA SYNDROME is, but I thought the story was great and I was especially moved by Jack Lemmon's performance.  He was so intense that at times you almost forget you're watching a movie.  The near meltdown scene was awesome.  I do wish the ending had been different and maybe a little more substantial, but aside from that I was on the edge of my seat a few times.

Strong supporting cast, quick pace, pure 70's opening credits, nice photography, no musical score and no need for it, Michael Douglas with a beard, pre-JURASSIC PARK cup vibration, naturalistic direction and another home run performance by Jack Lemmon.  I say check it out.
 Hey, it's ol' boy from TEEN WOLF!

  Hey, it's ol' boy from V!