More Trivia from Millennium
Want to see a disaster movie, a time travel adventure and a bizarre romance all rolled into one? Well, look no further than "Millennium"!
The film has a great B-movie beginning with a plane that's in serious trouble, the film's title emerges from the wreckage and right after that we meet Bill Smith (Kris Kristofferson), the lonely man whose job it is to investigate the crash. A lowly airport employee runs out of the room when she's asked to bring coffee, but when Bill runs into her leaving the airport, she seems more composed and looks really great out of uniform. Her name is Louise Baltimore (Cheryl Ladd). Let's just say Bill and Louise really hit it off.
The next morning, Louise tries to convince Bill not to go to his job at the crash site, but to stay with her. In a move few heterosexual men could understand, he tells Louise he must go and when the investigation is over maybe they can go away somewhere (quite a promise after one night).
Later at the crash site, some weird things are found in the wreckage, including a backwards running watch and a gadget no one recognizes. Bill zaps himself with it and in a flash, Louise shows up in a skintight outfit and warns him about messing up some project. Louise acts as if she doesn't know him at all and what's with her hair?
Bill seeks some answers from weird egghead and disaster enthusiast Dr. Arnold Mayer (Daniel J. Travanti), who likes to show up at any place where people aren't exected to be seen alive again. He thinks this is where time travellers from the future show up, when they know that no one who sees them is going to blab. The reason they do this, Egghead explains, is so they don't set off a change reaction that would create a "paradox," a shift in the time-space continuum, created by altering their past in such a way that makes their present impossible. (Got that?)
Meanwhile, Louise is wondering who this guy Bill is that just got zapped and the viewer is treated to the same scene where she and Bill meet, only this time from her perspective. Without giving too much away, it is the opinion of a certain robot (who makes C3PO seem as witty as Oscar Wilde) and some council members that this is the only way to set things straight.
Well, it doesn't set things straight and that paradox starts looking like a done deal. Egghead has the other part to the device Bill found and Bill remembers something from his childhood that ties in with all of it, seriously. A couple of plot twists bring this baby home in a way that must have left people in the theatres wishing they could pause and rewind, but they sure had something to talk about on the way home.
This movie was not meant to be a big budget extravaganza, but it was marketed as such. Along the way, there was an environmental message thrown in and some humorous banter among the oddball characters, in keeping with the B-movie effect that director Michael Anderson decided to run with. Fox should have used this in its ad campaign. For moviegoers with this in mind, there was plenty to enjoy.
Some people were put off by the non-linear sequence of events, but when time travel is involved you have to expect that. Where's the fun if you don't have to sort it out in your mind a little bit?
Cheryl Ladd's no-nonsense, somewhat campy performance is what makes this movie. That and her costumes. Who else could say to a robot, "Your mother was a cash register" with a straight face? (His response: "And she turned a tidy profit!")
Kris is a good actor, but Ladd should have had a hotter, younger co-star in this film to up the chemistry a bit. She looks like she could be his daughter! William Petersen of "To Live and Die in L.A." and "Manhunter" would have been better. Can you imagine if a man was paired with a woman fifteen years older in this flick? They'd forget about the time travel angle and spend half the movie overanalyzing it.
In this movie, the air of the future is so bad that time travellers going to the past have to smoke constantly to adjust to cleaner air. This is a fun movie overall but be careful, it might make you think. Don't expect the Star Wars trilogy and you'll be fine.
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