The movie Armageddon, that came out in the Summer of 1998 is one of those movies than when you see it on TV, you will always watch it, mainly because of the special effects, the entertaining acting and even scenes of comedy throughout this film mainly from Steve Buscemi, who almost steals this whole movie himself. The subject of this film is very compelling, a huge asteroid has been created from a collision in space and now a rock the size of Texas is heading towards earth and will hit us in 18 days. This is known as “A Global Killer, nothing would survive, not even Bacteria”, which is the famous line from Billy Bob Thorton who plays the head of NASA, named Dan Truman. Bruce Willis plays Harry Stamper, who is the world’s greatest Deep Core Driller in what had to be considered the action star high point in his career, even considering the Die Hard movies.
Michael Bay directed this movie, and as everybody knows, all Bay movies come off almost like music videos that have rapid fire and sometimes confusing scenes of action, facial expressions and in many cases nothing to connect one scene to another. I find much of this kind of filmmaking very annoying but in this case, there was an acceptable amount of this and not too much like many of the Transformer movies that Micheal Bay makes. For me, the high point of this movie was in a conference room where Dan Truman tells Stamper and his daughter played by Liv Tyler, about the 3000-foot high tidal waves and waves that will travel at 1000 miles and hour once this asteroid hits the earth. The reaction of Liv Tyler, who just says, “unbelievable” and the harsh reality of what is coming in 18 days I thought was very well done in this one scene.
Apart from this, there are many problems with this film, starting with the stupidity of giving the world only 18 days to save itself. There is no way of course, that all that would have to happen to prepare to drill a huge asteroid could ever be pulled off in 18 days. Why not 30 days, or 60 days, or 90? Even with those lengths of time, we would all be in a huge amount of trouble on planet earth, but 18 days would never be doable. On top of this, the Space Shuttle is nowhere near a vehicle that could accomplish the task of going way out in space and land on an asteroid. The Shuttle, as everybody knows was designed to orbit the earth and nothing more and some of the scenes later in the movie are absolutely ridiculous and were thought of only for dramatic effect. The ending I thought was too melodramatic but once again was added for effect and emotion, but in the end, this movie was entertaining.
What is most amazing here about the year 1998 was that some months later, the movie “Deep Impact” came out that was about the exact same thing, a huge asteroid is about to hit the earth after a collision in space. I thought at the time that something had to have gone wrong with several production companies in Hollywood to put out both of these movies within months of each other. This movie had excellent drama and spectacular special effects at the end of the movie and starred Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni and Morgan Freeman who plays the President as one of the first black men to ever play a US President on screen. Like Armageddon, Deep Impact is a movie that I always tend to watch when it comes on TV. There are flaws with this movie as well, especially the ending which involves Tea Leoni and her father, played by the late Maximilian Schell , which I thought was something that nobody would ever do in real life and was actually ridiculous. At some point, drama has to be sacrificed for common sense and it was not for both of these films.
Overall I recommend both of these films and they make you think about what could happen and how the world would react but both of them are seriously flawed.