Eve of Destruction (2013)
The Long Bang Theory
In fairness "Eve of Destruction" was originally broadcast as a mini-series rather than a three hour movie but that is how I ended up watching it and as a 3 hour movie it doesn't work. Not only does it suffer from trying to stretch out the story to fill 3 hours but frankly it isn't spectacular enough to warrant anyone to sacrifice that amount of their time. In the end "Eve of Destruction" only ends up a stretched out disaster movie which relies heavily on its cast to make it work which isn't an easy task when there is such little character development.
Scientists Dr. Karl Dameron (Steven Weber - The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve) and Dr. Rachel Reed (Christina Cox) work for Proteus owned by the charismatic Max Salinger (Treat Williams - Beyond the Blackboard) who despite the positive front is relying on their project to save him from financial ruin. That project is to create a new source of power using a particle accelerator something which environmental group P53 want to stop as they hate Proteus. With Salinger desperate for it to work he is prepared to cover up any problems within the project and push on despite concerns from both Dameron and Reed. And through Salinger's selfish attitude he causes a major disaster which power engineer Ruslan (Aleks Paunovic) is well aware of having seen the disastrous effects of what an accelerator can do when it caused the total destruction of his home town in Russia ten years earlier.
If you dig beneath the science storyline about creating dark energy from a particle accelerator which trust me you want to do as it is full of science mumbo jumbo and what you have is the standard skeleton of a disaster movie. In Max Salinger we have the greedy businessman who desperate for success ignores the dangers and warnings to go ahead with the experiment, in fact so greedy that he is willing to have an assistant he sleeps with to run the experiment. Then there is the quiet hero who in this case is Ruslan who having witnessed it all before and suffered loss and emotional scarring can save the day who is combined with the good guy working on the project Dameron who tries to stop things from happening but is unable to. And I could go on because for the most it just reworks the familiar elements of a disaster movie but with this particle accelerator and dark power storyline. About the only variation is that Dameron's daughter who being angry with her father for never being home joins up with the environmentalists although that plays out pretty obviously as well.
But the trouble with "Eve of Destruction" is that whilst the set up is enough for a 90 minute movie the fact this has to fill out 180 minutes makes it stretched. Pretty much the entire first 2 hours is build up to the disaster which in order to fill that time goes around in circles and then during the final hour we actually get some action as Dameron, Reed and Ruslan try to save the day. All of which wouldn't have been so bad if there was some decent character building and subplots but the closest it comes to character building is a short scene where we learns of the problems between Dameron and his daughter and the whole environmentalist subplot goes nowhere.
Because there is no real character development the cast which includes Steven Weber, Christina Cox and Treat Williams fail to bring their characters to life even when you have the likes of Williams playing against type. And as for the special effects well they may be effects but they are not that special and again because we are talking 180 minutes they often feel repetitive as if they have used the same footage again rather than created something new.
What this all boils down to is that if "Eve of Destruction" had been just your regular 90 minute TV movie it would have been a reasonably average disaster movie. But at 180 minutes it is a struggle from start to finish with the whole thing stretched out to the point of boredom.
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