Monday, September 21, 2015

TWO-MINUTE WARNING (1976)

Ehhh.  I was expecting better.  More suspense, more disaster, more Charlton Heston topless.

It's football time, so 91,000 fans pile into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a bright sunny day to watch an exciting game between Los Angeles and Baltimore.  It's so exciting, in fact, that none of the 91,000 attendees notice the dude sitting on top of the scoreboard with a sniper rifle for nearly the entire game!!!  He's just sitting up there chilling, eating a Babe Ruth candy bar and staring down the scope of his rifle at various people.  Finally some genius on board the Goodyear blimp notices him and calls the cops.  They show up, brutalize a couple of innocent people and then eventually get around to confronting the sniper...94 minutes into the movie!!!  They do a horrible job at containing him and all Hell breaks loose.

As far as disaster films go TWO-MINUTE WARNING is pretty weak.  The disaster (stampede) is all contained inside the stadium and if the police had done a better job of confronting the sniper nobody would have got hurt at all.  Top-billed Charlton Heston is alright as the police captain, but his role is very small.  The majority of the time is wasted showing the lives of various attendees: Jack Klugman as a idiot with a gambling problem, Walter Pidgeon as a pickpocket, David Janssen and Gena Rowlands as a couple who's relationship seems completely based on how much they can bitch at each other, Beau Bridges and Pamela Bellwood as a married couple with two children, etc.  All of their stories are boring and failed at persuaded me to care about any of them.

Mild pace, lackluster photography, soulless direction, unlikable characters, weak disaster, low body count.  Not a terrible film, just dated and meh.