Based on the 1984 sci-fi movie of the same name, this made-for-Syfy version doesn’t improve upon the premise of scientists cracking invisibility. Again, it has terrible consequences — namely, a World War II destroyer ship suddenly transported to a modern-day runway. Holy Battleship!
Coffee barista Molly (Emilie Ullerup, TV’s Sanctuary) worries when her cop boyfriend (John Reardon, TV’s Continuum) disappears while investigating the USS Eldridge’s anachronistic cameo. Meanwhile, Navy Lt. Gardener (Nicholas Lea, TV’s V) zaps into 2012 and conveniently happens to be Molly’s grandpa. He’s all perplexed by our newfangled world, asking (I’m paraphrasing, but only a little), “Website? What’s a website? Two-twenty-five? For coffee?!? … Hey, do people still give the middle finger?”
Yes, lieutenant, and let me show you. Directed by Paul Ziller, who’s made so many of these Syfy originals (i.e. Metal Shifters) that he must be on retainer, The Philadelphia Experiment is the kind of movie that subs technobabble (“Thirty-five Teslas and climbing! Fast!”) for true suspense. At least it has some nifty effects — OK, one nifty effect, which sees the Eldridge jammed atop a Chicago skyscraper.
I’ll admit the only reason I gave the Experiment a try was because it starred Ullerup, that Canadian cutie, and in the government bad guys’ corner, Gina Holden (TV’s Flash Gordon), that other Canadian cutie. Neither was worth the time; I really should know better. —Rod Lott