Details: (M), 147 mins , United States, English
Synopsis: Due to a shuttle's demise in outer space, NASA becomes aware of a doomsday asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth. It seems that the only way to knock it off course is to drill into its surface and detonate a nuclear weapon. But as NASA's under-funded yet resourceful team train the world's best drillers for the job, the social order of the world begins to break down as the information reaches the public and hysteria results. As high-ranking officials play politics with the effort, the drilling team all faces deep personal issues which may jeopardize humanity's last chance...
Big action movies usually leave me quite unmoved - I`m not such a special effects fan, and action without story or character I find boring. Which is why I was amazed at myself for getting so enthusiastically into the swing of things with Armageddon. It has a similar scenario to Deep Impact - the earth is being threatened by an asteroid, this one`s the size of Texas. But the treatment and the emphasis are quite different - where Deep Impact`s focus was on the human dramas Armageddon is ultra gung-ho, which I guess is why Bruce Willis is perfect for the lead. He plays Harry S. Stamper, famous for digging the deepest holes in the world for oil. He`s a bit of a roughie, he takes potshots at Greenpeace with his driving iron and real shots at his number one man J. A. - Ben Affleck - when he finds him in bed with his daughter - Liv Tyler. It seems the answer to this latest world problem is to drill a hole in the asteroid and nuke it. Who`re you going to get to do that? You guessed it - Harry and his team. But somehow they don`t really fit into the NASA mould...I sat up close to the screen in a big cinema with big sound and let the whole thing drag me along into outer space. One thing about all those edits, they don`t let you pause for breath. The film has some terrific moments of humour - mainly through the character Rockhound played by Steve Buscemi. The Russians are maybe going to take offence at the depiction of one of their cosmonauts - played by Peter Stormare - as a bumbling idiot, but given Billy Bob Thornton`s executive director of NASA maybe the Russians won`t mind too much after all. Bruce Willis doesn`t move too many facial muscles in the film but then he`s meant to take this whole thing seriously. The romance is a bit of a fizzer, but really this is an excellent adventure, I laughed, I didn`t cry one tear, even though I suspect I was supposed to at one point, and I felt like I`d had a terrific time at the movies by the end. It`s entertainment pure and fairly simple.
Watch Films Online
Films on SBS TV
SBS Film Guide to...
Celebrate Australian filmmaking with this home-grown season. Starts May 25.
A month of movies with an edge. Saturday nights in April.