Robert Ludlum's 'The Apocalypse Watch' (1997)

Genres - Spy Film, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller  |   Release Date - Mar 2, 1997 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 240 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Buzz McClain

It seems every effort has been made to film every page of this Robert Ludlum espionage potboiler. And Ludlum spares no cloak and dagger cliché for this one, throwing in everything from tranquilizer darts, high-tech brainwashing, chase scenes, bioterrorism, neo-Nazis, double agents, poisoning, drowning, nuclear warfare, and a ridiculously forced romance. There's a lot of dialog, most of it espionage mumbo jumbo that makes little sense as the scenes pile on one another. Subplots get abandoned before they reach fruition and characters drop out for what seems like hours -- and at 176 minutes, it very well could be hours (and that's trimmed from its original run time of 240 minutes) -- only to return to take up where they left off. Virginia Madsen holds her own among a nearly all-male cast, but by the time she's yelling at her ex-husband about how important it is to save the world just as they're about to be ambushed, her efforts seem strained at best. Fans of the book and the author are about the only folks who are going to find this one interesting to the end.