Showtime (Sat., Feb. 23, 9 P.M. ET)
Think Top Gun, psycho extension class. Peter Strauss plays an Air Force jet jockey training F-16 pilots at fighter school. Then his most talented protégé (William O’Leary) breaks the sanity barrier and after shooting his parents and brother in cold blood takes off to nuke Las Vegas. It’s up to Strauss to bring him down.
While the aerial acrobatics are acceptable, in the close-ups needed for dialogue and reaction shots, you don’t buy the illusion that the characters are sitting in the cockpit. What really grounds the project is that O’Leary’s apocalyptic derangement, the center of the film, is never convincing.