MILLENNIUM (Theatrical Release USA 1989)

Ben Meyers’ rating—3.0|5.0 Starsììì

Millennium is the perfect example of a million dollar idea—it’s fresh, wonderful, thought-provoking, imaginative, and completely takes care of the concept that we cannot interfere with the past when time traveling—and then falls all over itself until it disintegrates into nothing. It should have been a Back to the Future flaming success. The film's challenges are: it fails to take advantage of the multi-layered story possibilities, the terrific opportunities for richly developing the main characters, and the timing in introducing important concepts. There is a confusing dip into the year 1963 which could have been simplified by eliminating it and working through that information in 1989 to increase audience understanding. There are too many ‘whys’ in this film that are not answered soon enough to maintain the momentum of the story: why is Kris Kristofferson being helped, who is the woman traveling back and forth through time and what is her purpose. The successes of the film are: the original idea, the introduction of a unique concept that can be extrapolated to cover death in general (and create numerous spin-off scripts), establishing/implanting a point of view or seed that one day, in future, all death may be handled in this manner and thus take away the sting of death, and the potential to open a great deal of conversation after watching the film which thus increases, by extension, the entertainment value of the film. While this movie is not a first pick nor is it a great movie, Kris Kistofferson’s easy persona is so well received that it seems this film could have been the one that launched him as a leading man.

Storyline

In 2989, the human race is so ill that it can no longer reproduce and faces extinction. A plan develops to go back to the past, abduct people who are going to die, bring them forward into the future and allow breeding to extend the human population’s survival potential. National Transportation Safety Board Agent Bill Smith (Kris Kristofferson) investigates a plane crash where the plane’s engineer states that all the passengers aboard are dead and burned up before the plane has even crashed and the story is on.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Anderson and to Executive Producers Freddie Fields, John Foreman, P. Gael Mourant, and Louis M. Silverstein for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include:  Louise Baltimore (Cheryl Ladd), Arnold Mayer (Daniel J. Travanti), Sherman (Robert Joy), Walters (Lloyd Bochner), Coventry (Brent Carver), Tom Stanley (David McIlwraith), Roger Keane (Maury Chaykin), and Dr. Brindle (Al Waxman).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The film has its message and the concept is well received, but the storyline is small and difficult to follow with an ending that could have been improved with another rewrite.

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Ben Meyers

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