Based on an actual news event in Canada, DOOMSDAY GUN features a scientist with a genius for producing the ultimate weapon of destruction at the center of a complicated story of international espionage and betrayal.
Dr. Gerald Bull (Frank Langella) once invented wonderful weapons for Uncle Sam until a downsizing Pentagon withdrew its funding. Without the means of perfecting his armament dreams, Bull's shipment of war materials to South Africa lands him in prison. The disillusioned Bull now decides to sell to
the highest bidder, and with his right-hand man Chris (Michael Kitchen) and a think-tank staff, he begins building a great gun with a 1000 mile range for Sadaam Hussein. While an international situation develops over the making of the gun, Bull blindly soldiers on unaware of the impending
treachery of his employers, stepping up production on his brainchild in 26 different sections, and solving its firing stress problems.
The US short-sightedly does nothing to squash the project, fearing the Iranians more than the Iraqis. Hussein's commanders murder Chris and pressure Bull to make a smaller version of the super gun fully operational. Caught in the hair-trigger sights of a monster of his own making, Bull is
assassinated when the weapon is only eight segments from completion; his records disappear and his murder remains unsolved.
Although the direction is competent without being eye-openingly fresh, it cannot override flaws in the script which make the film a dull experience. To truly frighten us with Bull's scientific megalomania, the movie needed a riskier way of disseminating the basics of its cautionary tale. Played in
a low-key manner by Langella, Bull registers not as a man who might have plunged the world into chaos but as a grousing science teacher frustrated with lab cutbacks. If he had been a messianic madman, the film could have worked. If the film had showcased his mistreatment by the democratic nations,
then his repayment of their dirty deals would have had some impact. But Bull is portrayed as neither hero nor villain, just a self-centered absent-minded professor who got in over his head with Hussein's military machine. Played straight, DOOMSDAY GUN does not scare or stir a debate; instead, it
fades into insignificance as it relates the story of an overgrown child who wanted a bigger weapon-building allowance and threw a potentially deadly tantrum when he did not get it. (Extreme profanity, violence, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Based on an actual news event in Canada, DOOMSDAY GUN features a scientist with a genius for producing the ultimate weapon of destruction at the center of a complicated story of international espionage and betrayal. Dr. Gerald Bull (Frank Langella) once i… (more)