"Credible scenario, poor execution but no one walks out"
My guess is that ever since the whole 9/11 disaster, the reputation of this flick has actually improved because of it since it presents a credible scenario of psychos trying to commit a massive terrorist attack on Super Bowl dayAnd true I give credit to director John Frankenheimer for adapting Thomas Harris thrilling novel and making an interesting film on a subject that everyone thought was ridiculous to begin with but with time it was proven to be ultimately true. True to Frankenheimer’s usual blend of politics and suspense, he does it very well, especially since the material was inspired by the Munich Olympic Games terrorist attack of 1972, and makes credible connections to it. Notably of course, the whole Israeli/Arab discord, which is present in the characters, both sides are utterly cold-blooded and ruthless.
Unfortunately, this whole credible scenario does not make the movie a great one, since it can’t hide the clichés that are so evident in Ernest Lehman’s script as far as the buildup goes. The whole “I should’ve killed her but I didn’t” cliché is the most obvious. The crazed Vietnam veteran there, is even more painfully obvious, as well as the lethal beauty who manages to fuck and slash and burn her way in this male infested world.
It can’t also hide the lame and laughable special FX that ultimately hamper the film’s climatic moment (didn't the filmmakers have enough money to afford buying a blimp and atcually blow it up?), much less the completely predictable scenario of our Israeli hero (Robert Shaw) saving the day, and much less the completely rushed ending which leaves more questions than answers.In the end, this film is pretty much a curiosity movie, it’s not a bad movie but it’s too hampered and clichéd to be actually great. Besides, Frankenheimer has done better films than this. Still, it’s a good enough film to pass the afternoon by. 2.5-5