Millennium [1989]

Time-hoppers from the future, led by Cheryl Ladd, are abducting airline passengers about to crash, and transporting them a millennium hence in order to reseed a future blighted by environmental disaster. This is a dangerous business, plagued by the specter of accidentally creating time paradoxes, which could throw the future out of whack. Unfortunately, they've lost a couple of the stunners they use to subdue troublesome passengers, and these fall into the hands of a curious physicist (Daniel J. Travanti) and an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (Kris Kristofferson). Cheryl Ladd must retrieve these devices before a time paradox wipes out her world, but manages to complicate things by developing a romance with Kristofferson. All of which is very intriguing, having come from the short story, "Air Raid," by science fiction luminary John Varley, who also is credited with the screenplay. The part about airline abductions to save the disastrous future is straight from the original story, and the rest is expanded (you wouldn't say extrapolated) from it. The results are not very happy. About a third of the film is maddeningly wasted by repeating action from a different point of view. Seems natural when there are disparate timelines to deal with, but here nothing is added by the conceit. Only Travanti turns in a creditable performance as the physicist, bent on proving his theories about the future. He seems hungry for discovery, which is one of the things you want from a science fiction story, that sense of awe. But here it's just, "Aw, shucks!" --Jim Gay

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