Unabomber: The True Story (1996) starring Robert Hays, Dean Stockwell, Tobin Bell directed by Jon Purdy Movie Review

Unabomber: The True Story (1996)   2/52/52/52/52/5




92 mins



Dean Stockwell in Unabomber: The True Story (1996)

Basics of the Bomber

As a Brit I remember the occasional news announcement which mentioned the Unabomber striking again in America but that was as far as my knowledge was so before watching the 1996 made for TV movie "Unabomber: The True Story" I did some research. Unfortunately in the end that research ended up far more interesting and educational than this movie which don't get me wrong had its moments but for the most was a lack lustre experience.

Now "Unabomber: The True Story" suffers from the same issue that a lot of TV movies about real events have and that is a sense of being rushed out. In this case Theodore Kaczynski was caught on the 3rd April 1996 and then just 5 months later this movie was aired seemingly rushed out whilst everything was fresh in the public's minds. To me 5 months is not long enough to give the story enough attention and is why this ends up feeling like a potted history of the Unabomber story.

Tobin Bell in Unabomber: The True Story (1996)

The trouble is that by being little more than a potted history "Unabomber: The True Story" has no depth what so ever. We may get a postal worker called Ben who dedicates his life to catching the Unabomber and we get glimpses of the relationship between Ted and his brother David who in the end came forward when he suspected Ted's involvement but none of these character are more than cardboard cut outs fronting a series of scenes.

The worst part of this is that whilst we occasionally get fed phrases from Ted's manifesto we never really get to understand his motivations. Yes we realise that he was anti technology but we never learn why he was so anti technology and why he would take such extreme measures to plant so many bombs.

Aside from that "Unabomber: The True Story" also has some other issues which are extremely common to the made for TV genre from editing problems to supporting characters who deliver lines with almost a cheesy relish.

What this all boils down to is that "Unabomber: The True Story" is interesting but suffers from that feeling of being rushed out to capitalize on the true story being fresh back in 1996.