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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Atomic Train

Posted by: Voltimand
Date Submitted: Monday, December 25, 2000 at 11:48:57
Date Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2001 at 12:40:30

Hmmm...where to start? How about the so-called background to this? There is a train going from somewhere to somewhere else. It happens to be passing through Denver, Colorado. Predicably the train crashes, goes up in flames, and, of course, it is carrying some highly flammable chemicals. Not only that, but, to add the excitment, the train also has a Russian nuclear missile on it. How did it get there? I don't know. There is one guy who does, because he put it on there, but we only ever see this man twice in the movie, and he doesn't have any lines. I'm not sure why they bothered.

Anyway, there are two fireman/police officers (not sure) who are at the site of the train wreck. They were such memorable characters that I don't know their names. They spend a lot of time wandering around the train wreck, not doing anything at all, while a whole squadron of other firemen/police officers do the same thing. They just talk about the bomb and the chemicals, although they never say anything important.

What is important is how they talk. There are sirens in the background and presumably a lot of other people talking. I would imagine that the roar of the flames is pretty loud too. The point is, it's noisy. So, to make things more, um, realistic I suppose, one of the guys always yells. Everything he says is really loud, so that he can be heard above the racket in the back (which is imaginary). The other guy never raises his voice. So you get one person being overly loud and dramatic, and the other one not.

Anyway, one guy runs out of dialogue, so he decides to go on the train and defuse the nuclear bomb. They lower him into the car with the bomb and let him go to it. The bomb (which is armed) is kept in a wooden crate, of course. Just like everything else on the car. This is special wood though, because although the train (metal) is burning, the crates (wooden) are still intact. While the guy is in the train, some of the other crates break, and some green goop starts leaking out. Toxic chemicals are always green and goopy.

After getting stuck under a box, the guy gets lifted back out of the train. Then we find out the most amazing part of the movie. Anyone with a logical turn of mind will be asking themselves: "Why haven't they tried to put out the fire?" The filmmakers asked the same thing, but they also wanted to know: "How can we make this already bad movie longer?" The answer is simple. The flammable chemicals become even MORE flammable when doused with water. I don't have a chemistry degree, but is that possible?

So a bunch of helicopters are used to put out this pink powder on the train. Fire retardant, I think they called it. This doesn't do anything except make the fire flare up and cause everyone to spontaneously put their hands in front of their faces. People walk around and mutter some more about the bomb. Then the guy who was lowered into the train gets a call from the President of the United States. The guy isn't anyone special, but the President wants to talk to him anyway. He tells the President that nothing can be done.

After he hangs up, everyone looks forlorn or stern -- it's hard to tell. Then, the other guy (the one who yells a lot) suddenly says, "I can defuse that bomb." What? Why didn't you tell us earlier? You let some other unqualified guy go in and risk blowing it up when you could do it all along? Were you to embarrassed to tell us earlier? You could have saved us 45 minutes! Unfortunately, no one else thinks this way. They all nod their heads gracefully and let him defuse the bomb...alone. They all leave. He stays by himself in the train.

Meanwhile, there are more helicopters coming to the train. One of them doesn't have a fully working radio. So, while headquarters is telling everyone else not to use water, this copter picks up gallons of it and flies right to the train and dumps it.

This causes what is quite possibly the best explosion in any movie I have ever seen. I'm serious! This was the only redeeming thing about the film. They actually blew up Denver. The explosion was incredible. Rent the movie and fast-forward to the part where the train blows up. You'll love it. Unless you're from Denver.

The rest of the movie takes place in post-apocalyptic Denver, where the sky is perpetually cloudy and gray. Everyone is sad. The movie just ends. There is no reason for it. I don't even know what happened. I'm watching, and then all of a sudden the credits are on the screen. There is no resolution of anything.

Moral of the story: Don't dump water on flaming train wrecks.

Rating: 2 turkeys.

Scene to watch for: The explosion.

Best line: "The phone's for you. It's the President." / "The president of the company?" / "The President of the United States."

Things that make you go "Huh?": The ending. The hydroflammable chemicals. The guy who placed the bomb on the train.

Response From RinkWorks:

Uh. Nuclear bombs are BUILT so they can survive falls, sudden impacts, fires, explosions, and all other sorts of calamities that might befall them before they are used. I mean, you don't really want ANY bomb going off when it's not supposed to, but you ESPECIALLY don't want a nuke going off when it's not supposed to. Even while "armed" they can survive much more than this movie apparently thinks they can. (Most nukes are on timers and aren't impact explosives like many conventional bombs.) Just another bit of stupidity to add to what is obviously a long string of stupidity in this movie.

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