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Short summary

Jeffers works security at a nuclear power plant. The plant is being decommissioned, and a politician is touring the plant and videotaping his comments regarding the closing. A terrorist group led by Samson gets inside the gates, with their ultimate goal the detonation of a nuclear bomb inside the plant. After local policemen and the other plant workers are killed, Jeffers and Janine alone must confront and halt Samson and his terrorist squad.

Trailers "Critical Mass (2001)"

This movie lifts a LOT of identical footage from Terminator 2 in the opening sequence. In fact, they even use the company name Cyberdine Systems in both movies to avoid changing the signs.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Faugami
    Well basically this film was not worth seeing the plot was terrible the acting was terrible and I can't understand why anybody would try to even make a film with such a terrible idea. The film however is extremely funny especially the first 20 minutes because almost half of the footage was taken from Terminator 2, this involves the siege of cyberdyne systems. The same footage was used for the destruction of the building, also the part where the T-100 fires on the police below who arrive in exactly the same way as in T:2. This was hilarious seeming that they were using mp5's in this movie and Arnold was using a mini-gun in T:2 which fires 100s of rounds at a time where an mp5 has a clip of 30, some how the mp5 manages to do the same amount of damage as in t:2 yet as in T:2 all the policeman were avoided, but then later in the film the killing of policeman seems to be a regular occurrence, hmmm also the helicopter scene where Sarah Conner was shooting at the t-1000 was repeated including someone in the helicopter firing at the van with an UZI. If you had't seen T:2 before I suppose you could be mistaken for this film having decent special effects. Anyway if you have nothing to do apart from get intoxicated and laugh at really terrible films I recommend this one highly 1/10 laugh factor a good 8/10
  • comment
    • Author: Saithi
    This opens at the cyberdyne factory but it isn`t TERMINATOR 2 . It also involves a German leader leading his terrorist gang but it`s not DIE HARD . Oh hold on the plot more or less is DIE HARD , and do you know what`s worse ? THE WHOLE OPENING SEQUENCE IS TERMINATOR 2 !!!! . You read that right , the opening sequence of CRITICAL MASS contains lengthy scenes from James Cameron`s 1991 blockbuster and instantly reminded me of the straight to video film RANGERS that contains umpteen action scenes from other films . Can anyone tell me how legal this is because when RETURN OF THE KING is released I`m going to stick the three LORD OF THE RINGS films together and sell it to distributors claiming it`s my own original work.

    On its own ( ie the bits that weren`t stolen from TERMINATOR or UNIVERSAL SOLDIER ) this movie isn`t up to much , it`s just another of those " Bunch of terrorists hold everyone to ransom " type movies though when a bunch of journalists get blown away the hero saves the one with long hair and firm breasts so you`ve got to admire his sense of priorities
  • comment
    • Author: Jack
    Wow, this movie is awesome. You see, it starts with this building, and some terrorists get into it, put explosives everywhere and then they steal all this Radioactive Material (TM). Then they proceed to kill some SWAT people, and they're surrounded but the guy who's waiting in a bulletproof truck drives thru the lobby of the building! Can you believe it? They all leave, and you are treated to a wonderful scene of the building exploding! But there's this helicopter chasing them, firing automatic weapons from the cockpit thru the glass, which as we all know, is standard police procedure during helicopter chases. It goes under a bridge, but then one of the terrorists has a terrific idea! He orders his buddy to hit the brakes, and the chopper smashes into the truck! The terrorists then drive away.

    I mean it's a wonderful scene! I swear, it's very original, I'm pretty sure it's never been done before. They must have spent a lot of money on all those scenes, and destroying that expensive helicopter, and the building, oh boy!

    They even thought of this unique name for the building. It's called Cyberdyne Systems. Uncanny!

    Did I tell you about the part when one of the older terrorists throws a desk thru the window of the building and then starts firing at the police cars?
  • comment
    • Author: Nafyn
    I gave this film a 2 because it at least tried to have a plot and wasn't as awful as something like "Manos the Hands of Fate." It's the typical, international terrorists try to make a nuclear weapon to destroy the west coast schlock. That being said, I can now go into why this movie sucked so badly. Granted, someone makes a terrorist film every year. That's just how it goes. The problem with this one is how blatantly unoriginal it was. Not only was it the same old formula, throw in a German, a down on his luck, former cop security guard, and the whiny bitch senator and boom, you've got a movie. Udo and Treat seem to have really needed cash, or exposure, or both. The worst part is that I haven't even mentioned the blatantly stolen footage from Terminator 2. They stole every damn thing that they could use for the story. They didn't even change the Cyberdyne Systems name. Can we say "lawsuit" or "copyright infringement?"
  • comment
    • Author: Llallayue
    This is a terrorist film, but remember that this film came out before Sept 11, 2001. It doesn't matter because it's still a bad film. Too bad. I got it mainly for Treat Williams.

    The first two DVD chapters, 10mins, are borrowed film clips from the ending of Terminator I; not copied scenes, but actual film footage. That set my mood but no matter how positive I tried to remain, this film never did anything. Bad camera angles, bad acting, bad script, predictable, mediocre effects. Personally I would whisper if I am close to the terrorists. A terrorist that says goodbye after making demands? No depiction of recording the terrorist conversation, and no government on site; they left it up to the local small town sheriff's department. If the US government officials depicted here are a reflection of real government officials, then we are in big trouble. Relax, even the most incompetent could not be that bad. A wasted 1 hour 35 minutes, plus the DVD rental fee.
  • comment
    • Author: Andronrad
    Well this was a good laugh. The only problem it wasn't a comedy & was so trying to take itself seriously. The acting in the film is appalling, with Treat Williams (A good B actor at the best of times) walking through the film in a trance, & he wasn't even one of the worst in it. There was the usual stock women characters ( a bossy reporter with gleaming fangs) who was extremely irritating, & a leggy blonde in the tightest mini skirt who was laughably in the government & spent most of her time looking serious.

    I wont go into the plot, as it was extremely boring & laughable, & I certainly wouldn't want to destroy any enjoyment for anyone who wants to waste 90 minutes of their life.
  • comment
    • Author: Gholbithris
    Apart from the first ten minutes, which are shamelessly lifted DIRECTLY from Terminator 2 (exactly the same shots - maybe they couldn't afford to do their own explosions)this is brilliant b-movie fare, encapsulating several Shakespearean themes in a twenty-first contextualisation, with that fine character actor Treat Williams expertly dealing with the conflicting emotions, weight problems and freak bad luck thrown at the lead man. Go and see this film: the dialogue may be a touch wooden, the effects a touch cheap and the acting a touch awful but you can see that there is a touch of class about this movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Zut
    Well, I bought this movie because I was a Treat Williams fan, but I couldn't even stand him in this movie. I don't give it a bad rating for the acting, because I didn't have much patience with this movie, so I didn't pay much attention to the acting. The movie is just simply too bad for words, mainly because of the shameless ripoffs. Anyone who's a fan of action films will be sent sobbing to the floor by this. Look hard for any scenes that seem familiar, because they are! This movie uses scenes from at least two other movies, and not just short scenes. The most memorable is their use of the entire 15 minute Cyberdyne attack of "Terminator 2"! Also, if that wasn't bad enough, just see the cut and paste truck chase scene from "Universal Soldier"! At least 30 minutes of this movie isn't original footage. I cannot recommend it!
  • comment
    • Author: Jothris
    Mike Jeffers (Treat) is a humble security guard at the San Miguel nuclear power plant. When the self-serving, vain Senator Cook (Prine) and his press secretary, Janine (Loughlin) arrive at the plant with a camera crew in tow for a tour of the plant, Jeffers is put in charge of said tour. There's only one problem with the Senator's jaunt - the arrival of a gang of international terrorists led by Samson (Kier) and his second in command, Rand (Fralick). They threaten to blow up the plant if their demands aren't met. Naturally, that means Jeffers and Janine have to try, against all odds, to save the day. With no help from Washington, our heroes are alone in the face of overwhelming odds. Will they triumph, or will all of the sheer stupidity on show reach CRITICAL MASS?

    Another day, another "DieHardInA" movie. These Die Hard (1988) knockoffs are so common in the DTV world, even ones set at nuclear power plants are a cottage industry unto themselves. For a more complete list of them, please see our Sudden Death (1995) review. This particular run-through of the classic Die Hard scenario is probably most similar to Deadly Outbreak (1995) and the Jerry Trimble outing Stranglehold (1994). It even borrows (?) the plot device of having a politician visit the facility before it's taken hold of by the baddies. While we're not entirely sure if director Fred Olen Ray saw Stranglehold, he's certainly not afraid of borrowing ideas. Or footage.

    It seemed to be common practice, starting in the early 2000's as DTV movies started to go downhill, for filmmakers to borrow footage from other movies, particularly the bigger setpieces the lower budget versions couldn't afford. It happened in Rangers (2000), it happened in Gale Force (2002), it happened in Extreme Limits (2000), and now it's happening here. Anyone who has seen Terminator 2 (1991) or Universal Soldier (1992) will know when those scenes are intermixed with the more recently-shot stuff. Samson and his fellow baddies even steal their nuclear material from Cyberdyne Systems. Did they have to get permission to use that name? Isn't that copyrighted material? Nevertheless, old footage of people shooting guns and blowing up stuff is interpolated with new footage of people shooting guns and blowing up stuff. Think of Fred Olen Ray as a bartender and here he's making a cinematic Shandy.





    We love Udo Kier (or Udo Dirkschneider, or anyone named Udo), and he does his best, but of course he plays the typical Eurotrash baddie with an accent that means he's evil. Just as Christopher Plummer did in Crackerjack (1994) or as pretty much any baddie has in any Die Hard knockoff. So that cliché remains unchanged. As has the "he's just the security guard!" cliché, modified from Under Siege (1992) and its "he's just the chef!" line of thinking.

    Besides Critical Mass's stubborn and out-and-out refusal to come up with any remotely original ideas, the main problem, really, is that it is repetitive and very, very dumb. Halfway through the movie you feel like you've been watching it for four hours because you've seen this type of movie so many times before in your life. It just starts to pile on at about that point. Even the great and mighty Treat Williams can't salvage things. No one's bigger treat fans than us. He's charming, likable, and a very capable hero. He's even from the great state of Connecticut. But despite all that, Critical Mass's monolithic wall of stupidity is just too all-encompassing for even Treat to surmount.





    We were happy to see Lori Loughlin on board, and this is certainly a departure from Full House, and the other character actors are quite good, but come on...ANOTHER "DieHardInA"? We would say to the filmmakers churning out this crud: Give us, as viewers, a little more credit. Don't you think we're tired of the same-old same-old? Don't you think we can handle something a little more challenging; something with a tad bit of originality? Are we really supposed to be going back to the same old slop again and again? On the bright side, though, the key to Samson's world domination and nuclear supremacy looks like the inanimate carbon rod from that episode of The Simpsons.

    Sadly, despite the actors that are on board who put forth their best, Critical Mass is a dud. It's a prime example that DTV was out of its glory days of the 80's and 90's and had entered its period of doldrums.
  • comment
    • Author: Ghordana
    This film is hilarious from the very first scene, which not only uses the same plot as that of Terminator 2 and the attack on the Cyberdyne building, it goes as far as actually using the real footage!!!

    The film is a great laugh, not at all because of the very poor screen writing and appauling acting, but because it seems to have tried to compress every action movie into one. The plot is that of Die Hard, one guy on the inside against an overwhelming force of terrorists, and of course the guy has a grudge against the world for past problems.

    But to top it all off the penultimate scene is once again not only the same as that of Universal Soldier, but they actually used the real footage! Again!

    3 Films in one.

    I recommend watching this just for the sheer hilarity, oh and the two really attractive women, Lori Loughlin, and another nice blonde who appears to be wearing the worlds shortest skirt.

    Finally if this isn't a spoof, then the director and producers should seek mental guidance.
  • comment
    • Author: Galanjov
    This is by far the worst action movie I have ever seen! It was a waste of 1.5 hours! The storyline, cast, and actual acting in the movie is terrible. This movie could've been well-made, but unfortunately, the cast is not good enough to pull it off. What really irritated me was how unrealistic this movie was. For example, when the 2 main characters (Jeffers (Treat Williams) and Janine (Lori Loughlin)) are sneaking around the power plant, they're talking very loud, they're not trying to hide, nor are they even acting like they're nervous/afraid. The acting is so fake; this is also a major directing problem.

    Overall, if you want to see the worst action movie ever made (or you have 1.5 hours to kill), watch this movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Kulalbine
    I could only get 1/3rd the way through this piece of trash. There are completely absurd sequences of thing happening and they just waltz right into Cyberdyne like it was a motel 6. Then a they go to a nuke reactor and just stroll in there like a walk in the park! All in all the acting is sub-par and the writing is even worse. 4 thumbs down. Spend the money and see Matt Damon in Bourne Identy and Bourne Supremacy and the soon to come Bourne (shhhh, it's a secret ;) ). Oh and BTW I found a good use for the DVD that I paid all to much for. I use the DVD for a .06875" shim for leveling critical things to level and the case is under a wobbly piece of furniture. And why isn't there a rating of 0 (zero) on this site? I gave it the lowest rating I could, honest :
  • comment
    • Author: Arashitilar
    This movie really HAS to be experienced to understand how truly terrible some movie-making can be. From the stolen scenes from Terminator 2 to the truly awful acting, it is definately the worst piece of cinematic history I've ever seen. It's so bad that even camp fans won't like it.
  • comment
    • Author: Raelin
    Awful. I can't even beleieve it got screened. The first 10 minutes ARE awful, as they did just use clips from Terminator (of the attack on the Cyberdyne building). I can't state how appalling it is. You can sit there and just know whats going to happen. One guy pushes a table and ... yes, you guessed it, it falls out of a window, then some guy unloads several clips of ammo into the police cars, etc etc.

    The rest of the film hard my heart... Well, normal actually. The writer of the film could easily have been a 12 year old. From the first moment you hear the security guard saying "I always have bad luck" then someone else in the cast telling him "I hope your luck changes soon" every few minutes, you know the out-come of the movie.

    Random slaughtering. A bad guy that makes you just want to punch him cos he's so pathetic, poor gun-fights, terrorists that would make you wet yourself - with laughter, and such.

    The film takes itself too seriously. The only bonus is the young lady in it. She's a bit of cinematic "alright" ;)
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Treat Williams Treat Williams - Mike Jeffers
    Udo Kier Udo Kier - Samson
    Lori Loughlin Lori Loughlin - Janine
    Blake Clark Blake Clark - Sheriff Borden
    Doug McKeon Doug McKeon - Breem
    Andrew Prine Andrew Prine - Sen. Cook
    Richard McGonagle Richard McGonagle - Alan Gould
    Shanna Moakler Shanna Moakler - Alexandra (as Shana Moakler)
    T.J. Thyne T.J. Thyne - Karl Wendt
    Charles Cyphers Charles Cyphers - Henderson
    Jack Betts Jack Betts - Atty. Gen. Ames
    Eric James Eric James - Steele
    David 'Shark' Fralick David 'Shark' Fralick - Rand
    Neil Delama Neil Delama - Peterson
    Richard Anthony Crenna Richard Anthony Crenna - Tanner
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