Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment is a 1984 science fiction film Starring Michael Paré  and  Nancy Allen, that tells the story of a top secret experiment to cloak naval ships from enemy radars. On the day of the experiment in 1943, something goes horribly wrong and two sailors travel through a wormhole and are sent 40 years into the future to 1984. They arrive at the same point in time where a similar experiment is being conducted and it creates a rift which is pulling in energy and causes a town to vanish. Can they find out not only what caused them to go into the future, but also find a way back and set everything back as it was meant to be?

The story behind this films plot is actually interesting as its a huge myth that some people say has happened, and the navy insists that it never did. They took the conspiracy theory and made it work in the interest of good story telling. The fact that they turned the supposed experiment into an interesting science fiction story is great, and it turned out to be an entertaining film. It was smart in that it took something that felt like it was based in reality, which I have always felt makes for the best sci-fi films.

Michael Paré was great in this film, playing the role of a sailor ripped out of his own time and put into the 1980's very well.  The way he acted felt genuine as any one of us would have similar reactions to the things that have changed from what we were used to. He also had a great chemistry with Nancy Allen, and it made the pair enjoyable to watch on screen. The supporting actors such as Bobby Di Cicco and Eric Christmas helped round out the cast and added more substance and personality to the film. 

One thing I really loved in this film was the little details they added. Doing things such as having Herdeg and Parker (Paré and Di Cicco) finding an empty bottle of German beer and a discarded Coke can, and being amazed not knowing what its made out of. Things like that made sense and added more realism to the film as if you were to be ripped from the world you know and sent 40 years forward in time, you would be puzzled by things that changed.

While The Philadelphia Experiment may not be a perfect sci-fi film or really hold up all that well, it is still an entertaining movie.  Sure the effects may look cheesy by today's standards and the jokes are a bit dated, but I wouldn't say that's anything that hurt my enjoyment of the film. It has thrilling moments mixed well with comedy and drama and wraps itself in a fun little package that just might entertain you if you give it the chance. 

Verdict: It may have some elements that are dated, but it's still an entertaining movie.


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