Friday, June 12, 2015

The Terrorists

As with yesterday's The Reward, another movie that showed up on FXM Retro in the later part of one day and will be showing up again during the earlier part of the next day is The Terrorists. This one you can catch tomorrow morning (June 13) at 8:35 AM.

The movie starts off with a bang. Or, with a series of bangs, as there is a series of explosions in London. As if you couldn't figure out from the title of the movie, these bombings are the work of a committed group of terrorists. Cut to "Scandinavia", which of course is a region although it's presented here as an individual country. Terrorists have also kidnapped Palmer, the UK Ambassador to Scandinavia (Robert Harris). Their demands for releasing Palmer are the release of a whole bunch of imprisoned members of their terrorist group, as well as safe passage to someplace; they're obviously not mentioning where because that way they'd get caught. Oh, they also want parachutes so that they can bail out of the plane to wherever it is they're going. Capt. Barnes (Jeffrey Wichkam), the UK military attaché to Scandinavia, winds up working with the Scandinavian head of security, Col. Tahlvik (Sean Connery). The Scndinavians officially announce that they're goign to capitulate to the terrorists' demands, although in reality they're going to try to drag things out.

Meanwhile, there's trouble at the airport. A plane to the capital city has been hijacked by Ray Petrie (Ian McShane). It turns out that he's working in cahoots with the folks who kidnapped Palmer, because his demands are safe passage for the people who kidnapped Palmer and still have him at the Ambassador's residence. Petrie, for his part, is putting impossible demands upon Scandinavian security. The situation isn't helped out by the fact that the pilots of the hijacked plane did what they thought was their part in putting a monkey wrench into the hijacking by sabotaging the landing such that the wheels of the landing gear all burst and will have to be replaced. Petrie says replace them within a few hours, or else he'll blow up the plane.

The rest of The Terrorists is a fairly standard hostage drama type movie, with Tahlvik trying to make certain that all of the hostages make it out alive, while still trying to catch the hijackers. That, and the expected clash of cultures between the various agencies -- in this case British and Scandinavian security -- and how they think the case should be resolved. There's an abortive rescue attempt, people getting in the way, and a climactic shootout. How exactly everything is resolved, however, is something I'm not going to give away.

The Terrorists isn't a bad movie, although as I strongly implied in the previous paragraph, it fits into a tried and true formula. That having been said, it ticks off the boxes of that formula fairly well and is definitely worth a watch. Perhaps rewinding and watching parts a second time if you record it instead of watching as it airs, because there are some plot points that are a bit difficult to get the first time you watch. Still, Connery does well, and it's mostly his movie.

One other big plus point is the location shooting. Although a subtitle early on states that the action is in "Scandinavia", much of the movie was filmed in Norway, and at the old international airport in Oslo, which was closed down in the late 1990s. It's snowy and a relatively forbidding place with its concrete functionality rather than the sort of luxury you'd find in the airport lounges of The VIPs or Airport.

Amazon lists The Terrorists as being available for purchase, but it looks like another of those out-of-print DVDs.

No comments: