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When a senior Russian official, Gen. Marenkov, decides to defect to the west, CIA agent Harry Wargrave is sent to lead the team to get him out. Malenkov reveals that the Russians are trying to develop biological weapons. Wargrave decides that Malenkov should travel across Europe by train, on the "Atlantic Express", in an attempt to try and lure the Russians into attacking the train so that they can discover who the Russian secret agents in Europe are. During the journey they must survive terrorist attack and an avalanche, all planned by Russian spy-catcher Nikolai Bunin. Written by
Avalanche Express... The Slow Track For All-Star Adventure
Upon watching Avalanche Express, Robert Shaw's final film I was rather disappointed. Shaw, one of my favourite actors, lines are dubbed and this detracts from the viewing pleasure. This is not only because the voice sounds nothing like Robert Shaw, but because the dubbing has been done so poorly.
When I read a previous review which stated that it was not worth watching, I tend to agree. The film is suppose to be an action adventure but is nothing of the sort. To start off with, it is a very long time before we actually get to any exciting parts, the most memorable being the train escape during the avalanche. The special effects are also worth a mention. The avalanche doesn't look hokey, I was actually more impressed than I thought I would have been. The main problem with the film is its slow pacing. I found myself drifting off to sleep several times during its screening. Any film that does that to you really tells you something, doesn't it!
I think had both the star Robert Shaw and director Mark Robson not died during the production, it would have been something special. It had the potential, but sadly it is not an excellent film. I only recommend purchasing this film if you are a fan of Robert Shaw (Even though his lines are dubbed, its nice to see him in any film) or if you can purchase it for less than $5.00 - $10.00 US (I purchased it on DVD, which was a surprise as I have only ever seen it for sale on VHS).
Final rating: 5/10 - I don't think it deserves to be called a bomb, but it certainly isn't a masterpiece. If your looking for an excellent action/adventure film, check out Black Sunday starring this films star, Robert Shaw. I regard it as an underrated classic.
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