Juggernaut has been stuck with a 'disaster movie' tag when in fact it bears little relation to the Hollywood crop of calamities. The potential catastrophe here is seven steel drums of amatol timed to go off and destroy 1,200 passengers unless a ransom is delivered to the mysterious Juggernaut. But Lester's movie is no glossy catalogue of modern living with a holocaust thrown in for the climax. On the contrary, it is a penetrating and sardonic commentary on a fading and troubled Britain, neatly characterised by the lumberingly chaotic ocean liner, 'The Britannic', in which everything is falling apart: newly fitted stabilisers rock the boat, the general facilities are shabby and run down, bombs keep exploding to the dismay of the stoical passengers. Anyone who's ever had to endure that peculiar form of torture, the luxury ocean liner, will find an exact description here with not a jot of misery omitted. The pace of the thriller aspect is unflagging, and the characters are unerringly drawn, from the perfect casting of Sharif as the seedy, demoralised captain, to Harris as the bomb expert (the film's research in this direction is painstaking). Without a doubt, one of the best movies of 1974.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Richard Alan Simmons|