The Manhattan Project (Special Edition)
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Top Customer Reviews
A generic recipe for any decent movie might run along these lines: Take some interesting and/or sympathetic characters, put them in a situation that challenges them and their attitudes, and see what they do. Here we have the light-hearted high school genius (who stumbles upon a secret nuclear weapons lab in his town, and wonders what to do about it); his socially-conscious political-activist girlfriend; and a government scientist for whom ultra-purification of Plutonium is an abstract, intellectual challenge (until he finds himself in a situation where the end product might kill actual people that he knows).
People who dislike this movie generally have a complaint either with its plausibility, or its tone. OK, plausibility first. The weapons lab is "hidden in plain sight." An obvious high security presence would call unwanted attention to it; instead, it is disguised as a medical facility. (When I was in high school, my band teacher had some tape recorders that he used for students to record and listen to themselves in the practice room, etc. He kept these thrown in a big cardboard box, right out in the open, and each unit had scrawled on it: BROKEN. Not a single one was ever stolen. Same strategy here.) And the techniques that our young student hero uses to break into the lab are all well-established earlier in the film, including the fact that he can throw a mean Frisbee.
Yes, it requires some suspension of disbelief, but no more so than most other movies. At least an attempt is made to explain the events and make them seem logical.Read more ›
The movie has a lot of merits. John Lithgow is very three dimensional, as a hot-shot scientist that is looking for love. A derivative movie would have made him an egotistical nihilist with no redeeming features. But here he plays a person who you root for, even over the main protagonist at time.
The protagonist is Paul Stephens, played by David Collett. While very bright, he is not shown as a social leper or a total nerd. Cute girls are even attracted to him (portrayed by Cynthia Nixon of "Sex and the City" fame).
If you have a high notion of suspension of disbelief, then you can forgive the idea of a person learning to build a working Atom bomb from reading a few books. And that two kids could easily break into a highly classified research lab. And that scientists could mistake joy dishwater soap for Plutonium for so long.
However, I liked the prepubscent X-files type of conspiracy theme, especially at the Science Fair. Also, the last 20 minutes, where they have to defuse the bomb has surprising intelligence.
Even though this movie is dated (1980's fashion and looks...I can't see this phase making a comeback...And I was a teen through that era!) it is more intelligent and smarter than what Hollywood makes today. While not as good as my favorite smart teen movie (Real Genius), the Manhattan Project does a good job....Rating: B-
Most Recent Customer Reviews
High school teen takes a stand against injustice by building a nuclear bomb... what's not to love?Published 13 days ago by David W Andolina
Loved it as a kid when it came out and still love it.... and still relevant.Published 5 months ago by Nathan J. Bargar
Cool movie, Kids do a good job in it.
It's why I watched it, because of there version of the story. Read more
The Manhattan Project is an excellent movie which developed characters, and an interesting plot. Well done.Published 7 months ago by Online shopper
One of my most favorite old movies! I loved it so much, I tracked down the propmaker, and tried to buy it!! (He still has it but declined. Partypooper). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Shawn Hughes
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