The China Syndrome
"The China Syndrome" by Yojimbo
Jane Fonda plays a tenacious reporter whose news crew chances upon an incident at a nuclear power plant that could have led to a meltdown, and goes on to try and uncover the conspiracy of silence concerning the plant's safety. Essentially a disaster movie without the disaster, this worthy political thriller's main claim to fame is that the meltdown it predicted actually happened at 3 mile island a few weeks later. The plot follows the usual disaster movie convention of morally courageous hero attempts to alert the public to danger, hampered by the interference of big business who are afraid of the damage to their profits, but it is done in a rather more serious-minded way; there is more science and less histrionics and special effects. This can feel a little dry and sterile however, as a little too much of the drama relies on watching concerned looking men in hard hats looking at pipes and dials but Jack Lemmon is as excellent as always, bringing real human drama and pathos to his role. It drags a little in places, but the powerful climax is worth persevering for.