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The 100




Armageddon
(1998)
Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 9 Beans

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VHS - DVD
feel the need to start the review with a positive. Armageddon is not nearly as terrifyingly awful as Godzilla. With that out of the way, let me get to the real review.

Just like this review Armageddon starts out positively enough. Its interesting and amusing for about half an hour. Unfortunently, the film is two and half hours long. It starts with more fun to watch destruction of New York City than Godzilla and Deep Impact combined, then the focus shifts to oil driller Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis of Hudson Hawk fame). We gets some entertaining antics of Harry and his generic crew as they are recruited by the US goverment to blow up an asteroid with a mass of 97 billion tons that's headed toward earth.

Then things go downhill fast. Needless to say, everything goes wrong at the most dramatic moment possible. Well, it would have been the most dramatic moment possible if the film wasn't so horribly predictable, telegraphic each upcoming threat.

The characters are just weak stereotypes. In four scenes (I counted) Bruce Willis has a southern accent that vanishes in the next. There's the most brilliant scientist at NASA who of course has a british accent because all brilliant scientists have british accents. Billy Bob Thorton (proving he won't be typecast due to Sling Blade) plays the head of mission control who wishes he could go up with them, but can't because of medical problems. Keith David (in one of his few non-voice acting peices) is the generic military leader. The list just goes on with shallow two dimensional characters.

Armageddon also must be the most scientifically inaccurate film since, well, Deep Impact. For example, it would be impossible the Russian space station Mir to rotate to simulate gravity, and even if it could, you couldn't stand perpendicular to the rotational axis. If you understood that then there is no way in hell you would be able to sit through the movie calmly. Other severly embarissing plot holes/scientific oversights include a minigun mounted on the driller that actually fires in a vacuum, liquid oxygen that takes several minutes of contact with sparking cable before exploding, disarming a nuclear warhead by cutting a wire (and later on they wonder why they can't detonate it!), and the fact that NASA didn't predict that the asteroid would start spinning but the trajectories they worked out for the asteroid fragments still work. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Armageddon may be passable to those people who think that pretty explosions are what make a good film. However, if this is a sign of what passes for filmmaking these days, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if an asteroid impacted with the earth.

One last parting shot. Armageddon, despite what the movie says is not what the Bible calls the end of the world (the connection in language came later); Armageddon is the location of the final battle where the blood will run six feet deep. The plot of Armageddon is more like the second trumpet where a firey mountain crashes into the sea.


Other reviews for this movie:

Beau Murray




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