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Reviews & Ratings for
Detonator (TV) More at IMDbPro »Death Train (original title)

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good

Author: aaron-812-857531 from Australia
1 August 2011

I wasn't expecting much from this film but it surprised me. Yes the budget was small, but the acting surprised me, as did the story. The characters had enough development to keep me engaged, Patrick Stewart added his refined seniority, Pierce Brosnan acted the foolhardy gung-ho very well (a preview of his bond days to come). Not brilliant, but deserves more stars than it has. I suspect the low rating has more to do with the cover art and age than the actual content.

In short: if you like a predictable action film pitting good against evil (USA vs Russians hehe) this one is worth checking out. The characters are more than two-dimensional, breaking out of the stereotypes one would expect of a direct-to-VHS feature. Give it a look!

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Fun Little Movie with a Great Cast

Author: Jared Prophet from Portland Oregon
7 August 2004

Now on DVD as Detonator, this was a USA Network Original Movie as Alistair MacLean's Death Train. There is also a sequel Detonator II, or Night Watch. Oddly, even though this was first shown on the USA Network, it is available Widescreen and has a small bit of language.

The cast shines here with Ted Lavine (Captain Stottlemeyer on Monk) as the mercenary who high-jacks a train with a nuclear device on it. Ted Lavine is great in these small crazy roles. The Living Legend, Christopher Lee, (Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies) in one of his non-horror roles, is the Russian General who hired Levine. Any movie with Christopher Lee is worth watching, and this one shows off his ability to speak Russian. Also on board are Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard on Star Trek TNG), Alexandra Paul (Baywatch), and Pierce Brosnan (007) as the Hero.

The story is one where Cold Warriors freak out over the lack of a cold war and do horrible thing to start it back up again. Tom Clancy has covered this territory, the Bush Administration has been all about re-starting tension from day one, so nothing new, but it is entertaining.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:


Author: SALUDES from California
8 January 2004

When I found `Detonator' at the video store and saw that it had Patrick Stewart and Pierce Brosnan in the staring roles, I got my hopes up. I thought, with Captain Pacard and James Bond in the movie, it should be pretty good. Then I saw that Alexandra Paul and Christopher Lee were also in the movie and thought with a cast like that, how could the film help but be good. Well, I found out.

The premise of the movie is not bad; a fanatical Russian military man (Christopher Lee) builds a nuclear bomb and tries to detonate it, on a train bound for Iran, to trigger a military resurrection of the former Soviet Union. Of course, an elite team of United Nations commandos (Patrick Stewart, Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul) tries to stop the train before ultimate fireworks show takes place. Maybe not the most original storyline for an action/adventure movie, but it had some potential.

Unfortunately, not even this cast could make up for the horrible script `Detonator' offers. This is not the first script David Jackson has written, but it sure seems like it. In fact, the dialog is so dry and uninspired, that the chemistry one would expect between actors of this caliber is absolutely non-existent; which makes this movie boring, and a real disappointment.

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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

How do you spell boring? "D-e-a-t-h T-r-a-i-n"

Author: modius from United Kingdom
19 December 2002

TV thriller made in the early ninties starring heavyweights such as "Pierce Brosnan" desperate for a Bond type actionner (yet can't seem to handle any action sequence), Christopher Lee (in perhaps his most boring role ever) and Patrick Stewart (who appears to be doing this for the money).

Chris Lee is funding the transportation of a nuclear warhead to Iraq so that he can lead the Russians to re-claim the warhead by conquering Iraq (despite the fact that Russia were in league with Iraqis anyway - that's why the US funded Iraq's leadership at the time with chemical weaponary, etc).

The plot is paperthin, I still don't understand why the a-bomb has to be transported via train. I don't understand how doing a "media" job will allow Chris Lee's "Iron" man of Russia to become a leader for Russia.

The train also keeps stopping, the SWAT team are silly and there are too many breaks for obilitary adverts for Coca-Cola or Pepsi, or whatever the hell that Baywatch lady drinks.

Its too long, too boring and annoying.

Overall: 1/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Thrilling and exciting action movie with spectacular scenes , nail-biting action and big name cast,

Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
5 November 2015

Suspenseful and intriguing movie with all-star-cast and professionally directed . Stirring and interesting thriller with some clichés and stereotypes , containing enjoyable performances from Pierce Brosnan , Patrick Stewart , Alexandra Paul , Christopher Lee and Ted Levine . PA German Scientist has aided a renegade Soviet general (Christopher Lee) constructing a nuclear weapon which is now in a locomotive (it is actually a Slovenian type 642) that was hijacked in Bremen . As a nuclear bomb is stolen and transported from Germany , throughout Switzerland , Slovenia , Yugoslavia to Iraq . The hijacked train is commandeered by a hired hand , a ruthless mercenary (Ted Levine) and his band of hoodlums . The U.N. troubleshooter delegated (Patrick Stewart) attempts to stop the plot aided by a commando team led by Michael ¨Mike¨ Graham (Pierce Brosnan) and Sabrina Carver (Alexandra Paul) . They will race against time to stop an unmanned , out of control freight train carrying terrorists , atomic bomb and explosives . The mission is impossible , the consequences deadly.

This is and amusing and entertaining action movie though has some sloppy executions . This formula intrigue movie belongs to action genre in style of the 70s , being followed in the subsequent decades . The film profits of an acceptable acting by protagonists and overwhelming action scenes . It blends thrills , chills , shootouts , noisy action-packed , international intrigue , and many other things . It is a crossover in which "The Runaway Train" meets ¨Under siege 2¨ , taking parts here and there . This moving picture which is short in realism instead we have far-fetched but moving blow up , crossfire , fighting , it should please most adventure-action buffs . The main and support cast are frankly good , as Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul , both of whom playing two operatives acting for the Secret United Nations Anti-Crime Organization (UNACO) . Secondary cast is plenty with known faces such as Ted Levine , Clarke Peters and Christopher Lee as an ex general who attempts to reborn the Russian Empire .

Based on an Alistair MacLean's novel , a best-selling author , whose stories have been much better rendered in other occasions . Scottish Alistair employed the pseudonym Ian Stuart several times in order to prove that his books were best-sellers due to their content and not solely because his name appeared on the cover . This is one of the several adaptations based on his novels and most of them set in WW2 , such as the successful ¨Where the eagles dare¨ and ¨Guns of Navarone¨ . Furthermore, ¨Ice Station Cebra¨ that is the first of two movies based on an Alistair MacLean novel set in rugged icy and snowy terrain , the second would be ¨Bear Island¨ . ¨Ice Station Zebra¨ is one of two filmed Alistair MacLean adaptations directed by John Sturges , the other was ¨The Satan Bug¨ made and released about three years earlier . Other novels adapted on cinematic spectacle are ¨Nevada Express¨, ¨Force 10 from Navarone¨ , ¨The Golden Rendezvous¨ and ¨River of Death¨ . This ¨Detonator¨ (1993) was followed by a sequel ¨Detonator 2 : Night Watch¨ (1995) by David Jackson , also based on a story by Alistair MacLean in which Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul return as intrepid operatives , they are teamed by their boss -William Devane- when it is discovered that ¨Rembrandt's Night Watch¨ has been replaced by a forgery ; then our valiant duo to Hong Kong , there they meet a shady computer expert/art collector and a suspicious satellite about to be launched by North Korea .

Luminous and atmospheric cinematography by director of photography Timothy Eaton , though a perfect remastering is necessary ; being filmed on location in Slovenia and Zagreb , Croatia . Fitted to action but inappropriate musical score by Trevor Jones , composed by means of synthesizer . This improbable motion picture was decently produced by Peter Snell , being professionally directed by David Jackson , but with no originality . He's a good TV director who subsequently made another similar film titled ¨Atomic train¨ (1999) with Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis . Although the movie has some aspects a little tough to take , this catastrophe film still has its moments . This large-scale and well produced TV movie attempts a spectacular atmosphere with passable results.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Class A TV film

Author: jeps57
13 May 2002

As a TV film from the early 90's, this is probably the best what you can get. It has some very good and famous actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Patrick Stewart and Cristopher Lee, names you won't easily find from a such movie. The story is about a nuclear weapon being transported on a hijacked train by a mercenary group. Their destination is Iraq. A special task force, UNACO is sent to stop them. The team makes several attempts to succeed, meaning the film has lot of action. Pierce Brosnan fits perfectly for the hero's Bond like role and Cristopher Lee isn't bad at all as a rogue general. Maybe not worth of buying but definitely worth of seeing. I'll give it seven out of ten.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

strong on realism,just a bit too slow at times

Author: disdressed12 from Canada
29 July 2007

i sort of liked this's about a crack team of government agents who must stop a madman who has hijacked a freight train and holds some of the crew hostage.complicating matters is that there is a nuclear bomb on board.that sounds like many other movies.and it is true,the premise is very familiar.the only difference here is that this movie is much more realistic.there not a lot of death defying stunts which strain believability.also,the characters act more like they would in this kind of situation.the bad guys are smarter than normal,usually a step ahead of the good guys.the good guys are more like real human beings.they make mistakes that you believe could really be made.they're not super human.i thought the cast was good for this have some really good actors here.Patrick Stewart is the head honcho of the agency,while Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul are the two main agents.Ted Levine is the crazy in this one,along with Christopher Lee.i've always liked Patrick Stewart and Pierce Brosnan. both are very credible in their roles.but Alexandra Paul really impressed me here.i also liked the fact that her character was a strong woman,not a damsel in distress.the supporting cast was also very good.i also think the way they depicted events had some realism.i think the same thing could happen the same way in real life.having said all that,i have to say the movie was pretty slow,not quite too slow to watch,but pretty close.that's really the only complaint i have about the film.otherwise i didn't find too much wrong with it.that one little problem lowers the rating a bit though,from my point of view.for me "death Train" AKA "Detonator" is a 6/10

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A Pretty Good Made-for-Television Action Movie

Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
12 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One day while working in his office the man in charge of "U.N.A.C.O." (the United Nations Anti-Crime Organization) named "Malcolm Philpott" (Patrick Stewart) is informed that a German train has been hijacked and is headed to Stuttgart. Since this sounds like a matter for the German authorities he pays little attention to it. However, when another news item concerning some stolen plutonium from the exact same place as the hijacking reaches him he immediately assembles a team to check it out. The first person he calls is a former colleague named "Michael Graham" (Pierce Brosnan) who owes him a big favor. Along with that he also appoints one of his workers by the name of "Sabrina Carver" (Alexandra Paul) who not only knows four languages but can shoot as good as she looks. Once the team arrives in Germany the voice of the man in charge of the hijacking "Alex Tierney" (Ted Levine) is recalled by Michael Graham as that of a mercenary who worked with them in the Congo. But the man behind everything is a former Soviet general named "Konstantine Benine" (Christopher Lee) who is seeking to recreate the old Soviet Union by detonating two atomic bombs in two separate places. Anyway, rather than disclosing any more of the plot and risk spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this was a pretty good "made-for-television" action movie. Not only was the action pretty brisk but it also had some good suspense and excellent acting on the part of everyone involved. As a result I rate the film as above average.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

OK Cast, lame plot, weak action

Author: houseofjames from Canada
8 August 2012

Anyone watching this film because Alistair Maclean's name is on it will be sorely let down. A weak plot involving stolen nukes is nothing you haven't seen before, done better. Some of the acting (Brosnan, Stewart and Paul) is good, but Ted Levine is simply laughable as the secondary antagonist. His silly redneck character weakens any threat to his scenes with Brosnan. The venerable Christopher Lee is rather miscast as an evil Russian mastermind.

Action scenes and photography are OK, but the editing, music and direction are dull. I also found it funny that it is some sort of UN team that goes after the nukes, where in real life it would be the Navy Seals or Delta Force that would be sent to deal with this train (and would certainly do a better job).

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Detonator just did not explode

Author: triplett-4 from United States
9 July 2008

With such a strong cast, one would like to assume that the movie would be good. However, lame is the word that comes to mind. I am surprised Brosnan would do such a poor film. The story itself was great, but the screen writer/directs and whoever else is ultimately responsible should be shot. I will admit that I watched the entire movie, because I never gave up hope that it would get better. It reminds me of Segal movies, all of which seem to follow this line of thinking, which does not seem to be completely developed! Shame on Patrick Stewart as well. Another fine actor who was tarnished by this movie. I can only hope that some or all of these actors were fulfilling some type of contractual agreements to participate in this film.

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