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January 1988 (USA)  »

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A powerful lesson
23 August 2006 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I watched this movie in the age of 19. Since I watched "War Games", when I was a kid, I was very interested in control rooms to launch nuclear missiles. And how that works in reality, you get to see in that excellent made documentary. This movie is about young people joining military lessons to learn how to launch Minutemen missiles. In the end you see, how two of them get it and became Space Commanders or how it is called. Very interesting, indeed, all that buttons and codes and keys, even more than in "War Games". But- and that is what makes that movie such a lesson to me- it also shows something, that you do not see in "War Games":

The trainees are no muscular warriors with sharp shaped faces. They are mostly complete small and weak and have bad eyes, so they wear glasses. And there are many women, including the two who get it in the end. That way look the modern warriors, who are able to kill millions of people in a single strike. And they do not only look not like proud and dangerous soldiers, they don't act that way, neither. They act goofy and clumsy, have problems to insert launch keys and to fasten seat belts and yawn in lessons, when they learn about the seriousity of their job. And the trainers aren't better: They are calm and smiling, they make bad jokes, and in one scene one of them shows a trainee tricks how to succeed in a multiple choice test, if you don't know the answer!

I would compare this movie to the "Atomic Cafe": a real-life satire, that shows: Cold War was not only very dangerous, but also very embarrassing.

A shocking, but very interesting and funny (for people with dark humor) movie.


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