The telefilm centers on a present-day nuclear plant disaster and its aftermath.

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(as Jeremiah Chechik)
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Agent Tom Shea
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Zoe Cox
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Khalid / Sands
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Colonel Boggs
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Attorney General Zutrow
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Homeland Chief Utley
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FBI Agent Tucci
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FBI Commander Hall
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Agent Charlie Jansen
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Syed Kahn
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Reactor Tech Chuck Pasquin
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Marwan / Raul (as Diego Del Mar)
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Salem / Emmett
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Waleed / Frank
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Shafig / Jesse
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Storyline

The telefilm centers on a present-day nuclear plant disaster and its aftermath.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terrorists didn't have to build a nuclear weapon... we built it for them. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

6 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Meltdown  »

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User Reviews

 
Solid direction, acting, and editing make for a strong TV script
7 June 2004 | by (King of Prussia, PA) – See all my reviews

*some information on the film but no spoilers*

I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of TV movies. Namely, because often the story lines are ridiculous and the characters (and dialogue) are clichéd. I gave up on watching TV movies from start to finish years ago simply because it wasn't worth the time spent. Occasionally, though, I would sneak a peek at a segment (i.e. I saw a piece from "10.5") which would cause me to shudder and change the station.

That being said, it was an unusual occurrence when I sat down specifically to watch "Meltdown." I had seen the previews and it looked like an interesting topic (but that can be deceptive). The primary reason for me watching it was that it was on FX. ("The Shield" has reborn my interest in TV series.)

In any event, I still was not anticipating too much from "Meltdown." I expected the requisite lame plot-points, acting, and effects common on most TV movies. Needless to say, I am happy to report that "Meltdown" was a pleasant surprise.

Probably the strongest factor in the movie's favor is its smart directing and editing. The editing is quick enough to keep the pace moving. The movie never lags. Once a scene is established, it fades to black and the next scene begins. Sometimes these scenes are very short, giving us the gist of what's going on, and then moving on. In this effective way, the director alerts the audience to the main events in the plot without laboring over the needless details. (For example, in an early scene, an officer drags an injured person from one area to another. Instead of wasting time showing the entire length of the drag, we see her begin the drag, then the scene fades and reappears with them in a new area.) This technique is consistently used to good effect.

In short, the plot concerns a group of terrorists who take over the San Juan nuclear power plant. The FBI, national guard, and police arrive and fear a potential meltdown, which would devastate the area and kill hundreds of thousands.

The characters are written well, and there's no cheesy romance or sideplots.

Bruce Greenwood plays the main character, a senior agent in the FBI. Thankfully, he doesn't spout off any lame one-liners or pull any Bruce Willis action stunts.

The entire scenario of a potential nuclear meltdown is played realistically and in today's climate. The setting is the modern world: 9/11 has happened, there's a Department of Homeland Security, etc. There are no insane heroics. It's almost as if watching a documentary. There are even constant national news broadcasts.

I'm happy to report that while some may be able to predict the general outcome of the movie, many plot-points leading up to the end throw twists into the system. For instance, about 3/4 of the way through the movie an unexpected event occurs which actually made me spurt "OH ****." aloud; I don't think I've ever done that before to something on TV.

This film does not follow any established formula for action movies. Indeed, it's not even an action film. If you're expecting special effects, look elsewhere. "Meltdown" is a case study as to how the government could realistically respond in a moment of crisis. It has some flaws that go along with a modest budget, but thankfully this is minimal (since it doesn't blow its money on effects). "Meltdown" keeps you interested and thinking throughout, which is as much as you can ask from a TV movie.

8/10


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