on September 6, 2003
One of the biggest box office smash hits of 1998, "Armageddon" was a well-deserved box office hit and sometimes one of the most unfairly criticized movies of recent years. I'm surprised at the negative reviews that I've been reading on here and the low rating of 3.3 (as of writing this review) stars. This movie deserves at least a 4.3 on the rating!
Starring Bruce Willis as the disgruntled, often excessively strict drilling expert Harry Stamper, "Armageddon" is a chilling but at the same time, fun film about a giant asteroid around the size of the state of Texas hurtling straight towards earth, threatening to destroy all life and possibly the planet itself in approximately 18 days and mankind, under threat of extinction, looks up to the expert drilling knowledge of Harry Stamper and his crew of grouchy disgruntled drillers to drill a large hole in the asteroid, send a powerful nuke down the hole and blast the asteroid apart by detonating the nuke. It all begins on an oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or somewhere around there with the outrageous Harry Stamper playing golf against a Greenpeace ship, and the Greenpeace guys ducking for cover to avoid getting hit by the flying golf balls. It's actually quite funny to watch even though I would lean more towards the Greenpeace people and also Harry laughing at and ridiculing them. However the laughs are instantly ended when a team of government officials arrive on Stamper's oil rig and bring him to NASA headquarters to tell him about the crisis of the approaching asteroid.
While Bruce Willis' character Harry Stamper is the main character in the movie, my favorite character is the odd goofball Russian astronaut Lev Andropov (Played by Swedish actor Peter Stormare). His funny personality adds quite a bit to this movie. My other favorite is Rock Hound, with his bumbling and highly eccentric personality and watching him mess up or goof off provides some good laughs. Most of the rest range from good to excellent to downright annoying.
The romance between Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) and A.J. Frost is pretty contrived and could've been left out but that's just my opinion. Most of the negativities are negated by the pros of this movie. "Armageddon" is an extremely adrenaline-pumping action flick with a highly intense visual assault (in a good way), and a good amount of comic humor occasionally in parts of the movie. Many seem to dismiss this as more Hollywood pap but I beg to differ. "Armageddon" is just plain fun but also it is rather unsettling because the possibility of being hit by a global killer asteroid is always present but also there is the possibility of being able to prevent such a disaster from occurring. It's for these things that to me, makes this movie so awesome yet scary at the same time. No wonder it was a smash hit at the box office. I wouldn't necessarily say that I highly recommend buying this movie but "Armageddon" is definitely worth checking out for those who missed it when it was on the big screen. This is just my opinion but man this movie was a brutal, thrilling ride when seeing it on the big screen and when it came to the small screen, the punch was greatly reduced but still, it's an awesome popcorn movie. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Doomsday has never sounded like so much fun.
on July 6, 2003
I know most disaster movies don't focus to much on science, but this movie had some flaws that were quite noticable.
1. The killer asteroid is said to be the size of Texas, but there are no asteroids that big that we know of
2. The asteroid that hit Paris would have been more than enough to wipe out man kind
3. The small meteors that hit New York would have burned up in the atmosphere before they even reached earth, and if some survived they would be to small to cause any damage
4. The asteroid doesn't even look like one. A large asteroid would just be a large rock. It wouldn't have all those spikey rocks and other chunks of rock
5. At the beginning of the movie, it says that the asteroid that killed the dinsoaurs struck with the force of 10,000 hiroshima bombs. That isn't even close. The asteroid that killed the dinsoaurs was close to about 1 billion hiroshima bombs
6. WAn asteroid of that size wouldn't just leave a crater,it would split the earth in two
7. If the scientists discovered an asteroid 700 miles across 18 days before it would hit earth, they must not have very good technology
8. The small meteors were even smaller in space than they were when they hit New York. Did they have a growth spirt in the atmosphere?
This movie wasn't that bad but more science could have been put in to it.
on January 28, 2003
Take this move for what it is which is an exciting action flick. The criticism I hear for this film is that it is fast paced resembling a 2 hour commerical. My answer to that is YEAH YOUR RIGHT SO F'N WHAT!!! first off the comet that was to crash into earch was discovered 2 weeks before impact therefore, thats a reason in itself as to why the pace of this film is frantic. I 'm sure every person would be frantic with the thought that the world would end in two weeks. May be the bone headed movie critics believe that people would be relaxed enough to take a tea break. Unlike DEEP Impact which resembles a 2 hours self pitty borefest, Armegedon got it right by expressing the true nature of humanity which is self preservation by all means necessary by never excepting defeat. I enjoyed the plot sequences ,the suspense, and action pact drama, and even the comedic twists that comes along the way. Jerry Bruckheimer did a great job of countinously keeping a viewers attention with the events that lead up to the destruction of the asteroid. He was breif and to the point with the scenes. As I said, this movie is what it is which is a high impact action flick and it does a great job for being that.
on December 17, 2002
Armageddon is the low-intelligence, B-type film that seems to have become so typical of uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, with the exception of last year's Black Hawk Down, which I have not seen, yet, and which has gotten positive reviews. The plot structure is very weak, and the characters are paper thin.
The film opens with a meteor shower raining down on the earth from space, debris from an asteroid the size of Texas. After a sequence of mass destruction taking place in a big city, the government learns of the Texas-sized asteroid, and that it's going to strike Earth, which would result in the end of mankind.
The solution is to form a group of expert drillers who must travel to the asteroid and drill a hole through it, so the asteroid splits in half. That way, hopefully, the split asteroid chunks would miss Earth on it course through space. So a misfit group of oil drillers find themselves the ones for the job. The fate of planet Earth rests on their shoulders . . .
In my opinion, Armageddon is worth the rental price, nothing more. The film is miscast, and, as I've said before, the storyline is weak and the character development is almost nonexistent. In my opinion, at least. Rated PG-13. 2 stars out of 5.
on November 20, 2002
Do Bay and Bruickheimer do a 'pre take off' checklist when making a movie? I can imagine it;
A pair of good looking lovers for teenage audience....CHECK
Family member/lover who sacrifices themselves to save the world...CHECK
Emotive picture of stars and stripes.....CHECK
A large can of artistic licence......CHECK
Rapid fire/three second scene editing to convey action.....CHECK
Numerous movie cliches.....CHECK-point in case, vibrations may set off bomb or something similar!Agh
Im sure there are more, but to be honest ive already given these two a combined total of about 6 hours of my life, so id rather stop now.
If in doubt about the veracity of these points please watch Pearl Harbor. On second thought please dont-it is not really worth three haours of your life, take my word for it. Though in all fairness to these two inept clowns, it does work, and they have no doubt succeeded in their one sole aim-reaping the rewards of a largely pliant movie going public.
on March 22, 2001
The one good thing about "Armageddon" is not in the story, not in the special effects, but in the emotion it is able to instill through the performances of its actors. That, along, remains the only positive aspect of a film that is predictable and tedious, testing patience while stretching credulity. The story fails to do any justice for the film's intended ideas, and the special effects overpower the movie during most of its running time.
The movie begins with a pretty nice retelling of the origins of Earth, as well as the extinction of the dinosaurs. Pretty soon, we're watching a space shuttle being bombarded with small meteors in space, and this sends NASA into a frenzy to figure out the nature of the accident. There troubles escalate when an intense meteor shower rains fire down on New York City (what other city, right?). This is one of those sequences simply put into the movie to try and instill fear and tension, but this is ruined by the writer's placement of small comical relief in the form of a taxi driver who has a way with words. The movie is full of trying to make tense situations funny, putting into under an identity crisis of sorts.
The movie then takes us to an oil rig, where Harry Stamper spends his days hitting golf balls at environmental protestors and yelling at his daughter Grace, who has been the adult of the pair all her life while her father plays the small child. NASA sends a chopper to pick the two of them up, and the situation is explained to them as well as the audience: an asteroid the size of Texas is heading for Earth, and will hit in 18 days unless they can send a crew of (wouldn't you know it?) drillers to the rock's surface to impregnate it with a nuclear warhead so that it will blow up and cause a brilliant light show for everyone on Earth that's waiting in suspense.
That last sentence pretty much describes the movie, which gives us a story they think we want to see, when in fact, there is so much more I wanted to see. For instance, we are never given a chance to care that Earth is going to be destroyed because, besides the characters being placed on the asteroid, we never get a chance to know anyone on Earth to give it a human feel (unless you count Dan Truman, the NASA guy who keeps pouring on the foreshadowing of doom and death). Interspersed through the movie are small shots of people listening to their radios and pointing to the sky as eventful things happen. This really does nothing to add human drama to the movie's plot, and by the end, you'll wish the rock would just end everything and get it over with.
The movie also does not live up to the ideas it so badly wants to embody. The movie brinks on giving us a story of perseverance and courage, but instead is ruined by substituting these traits for predictable scenes and far-fetched plot elements that ruin the entire experience with a cry of "Oh, come on." First movie magic plot twist off the assembly line is the movie's placement of the rig workers into an twelve-day astronaut training program for their venture into space. Twelve days? There is no way, especially since most of the time is spent going through useless psychiatric tests and medical exams, which are humorous but unaffecting in terms of plot development. The movie also has so many situations in which things are about to go wrong, but right at the last minute, our heroes save the day. The missile quarrel on the asteroid is a prime example; NASA overrides the system and starts the countdown from Earth's remote control link to the bomb, and with just seconds left on the timer, our heroes find the right wire and cut it to stop the explosion, which allows for more running time more than story. This is not only totally predictable, but totally unbelievable in reality, making the movie mindless and an insult to its own "intelligence."
Special effects seem to dominate most of the picture, and while they are dazzling, they do nothing in terms of what the movie wants to portray. "Armageddon" is about a big asteroid, so why not show us a big asteroid? The only times we ever get to see it is through the windows of a space shuttle or while they are drilling on its surface, and rarely do we get a faraway shot of it in its entire. So why, exactly, are we supposed to believe that this is going to mean the end of Earth? The effects do a good job of creating some tension, but only to a certain point, and that's if the plot's hokey machinations are absent for a few minutes.
One redeeming feature of this film is the emotion that it contains, and believe it or not, there actually is some. The drillers are shown as having lives outside of their work: one has a small boy who lives with his mother, while the plot also goes into a bit of romance between Grace and AJ, one of the drillers. This gives the movie a chance to exercise more of its father-daughter angle, which it does to a point without ever becoming preachy or tedious. The group's journey into space also is aided by the performances, playing out all the situations nicely and with ease, giving the story a feel-good attitude while adding some tension.
The cast is comprised of many well-knowns, all of whom shine in their unique roles. Bruce Willis is the ideal choice for Harry Stamper, being able to balance his rough and tough macho-isms with an equal amount of emotion and feeling. Liv Tyler plays Grace, his daughter, and their onscreen time together is believable and affectingly acted. I enjoyed watching these two at work the most, for they are able to make us feel for them as they experience their perils. Ben Affleck plays AJ, and while his role is not Oscar-worthy, he still does a good job of interacting with the story and the other actors' roles. The group of drillers includes Owen Wilson, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, and others, all of whom bring slight touches of comedy to the movie while adding energy and feeling to the plot.
You have to give producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay credit for knowing just what audiences want in their summer movies, and that is lots of action harnessed by clichés and predictability, so as not to take away too much focus from the special effects and sequences of intensity. For me, this just wasn't enough. I did, however, feel that the movie has a solid emotional aspect that was brought into play by the performances of the actors. The movie does make one cry, yes, but in the end, it has its flaws that keep it from realizing its full potential.
on October 15, 1999
This is an absolute snoozer! What's the deal, Hollywood, do we really need a film like this? The plot is unrealistic even for an action movie! I mean, this is a genre where terrorists aim for your feet and ammo is unlimited! And the plot still comes off as being far-fetched! It's amazing how astronauts, who have been selected because they are the most qualified to venture into space, must train for days, months, years to prepare for a mission. Then a gang of high-school dropout oil drillers who have no experience in anything that is even remotely related to space, can train for a week or two and be fully ready for a venture into the final frontier. Is oil-drilling expericence REALLY that important to planting this bomb that we must send up inexpericenced idiots? Oh, and why the HELL is there a chain gun on the ship? In case they need to SHOOT the asteroid to pieces? What could a gun possibly add to the success of their mission? Are they afraid of encountering little green men? But one thing's for sure, that-thar gun sure did look cool... I think that epitomizes the whole movie : It's not a film, it's a special effects showcase with a plot to tie them together.
on May 10, 1999
i really enjoyed this movie, thats why i give it 5 stars, wish i can give it 10 stars! in the movie, it was some humour, some excitement, some thrilling parts, and some sadness! a little bit of everything. its a schocking movie, and to know that the world would end as we know it is very scary, just like metor! but to compare the two movies, either the asteriod would hit at 22,000 mile per-hour the size of texas, or the meteor in meteor at 5 miles long hits the earth, it would cause about the same damage! it really doesent matter how big or how long the object is, it would be disastoris to all mankind! if it was a thing to be true one day, it would not be in our lifetime, unless its not noticeable to the astrologers, and it would slip by without them noticing! just a freak thing like that could be possible! if it did ever in our lifetime, i dont no if were ready to deal with it like in the movies! i think it is a fact it could happend but who really knows??? this is a very interesting thing to talk about! i can go on and on, but, i wont. people should know already! you must see this movie to know what im talking about, also, get meteor and conpare it to armageddon! but dont cry at the end, its only a movie, right?
on March 16, 2004
This movie is fun, a little less serious than Deep Impact which came out about the same time, yet it had it's own perspective and plot.
Interesting concept using a well drilling team to place charges on a large asteroid.
Much of the movie involves the relationships of those on Willis's drilling team. There is comaraderie and infighting, yet, they get more serious as they get closer to take off and the rendezvous with meteor.
The special effects are a little more spectacular than those on Deep Impact, yet the scenes on the meteor itself are a little bit unreal.
The cast is an interesting broad spectrum of characters, many whom have come into their own since Armageddon. I think for special effects and action Armageddon is much better than Deep Impact, yet the plot and story of the latter is much better.
Armageddon though does show a group of very tough men with a challenging job ahead of them, taking things both in stride and with a sense of confidence.
on December 18, 1999
"Armageddon" went head-to-head against "Deep Impact" in the theatres, and I chose to see "Deep Impact" first, since it seemed to be a more thoughtful, serious look at the possibility of a comet impacting Earth. After surviving the disappointment of "Deep Impact," I thought, "How bad could ARMAGEDDON possibly be? Sure, the science might be bad, but it's probably just a lot of rollicking good fun." How WRONG I was! Apparently the producers of this movie felt there was no need to speak with technical or scientific consultants; I can't imagine anyone but male high school dropouts enjoying this film. Sure, there's a lot of explosions, flashing lights, Aerosmith, cheesy sets, flag-waving, and clouds of testosterone pouring off the screen, and if that's your cup of tea, go get this movie. But if you've got an IQ of at least 90, avoid "Armageddon" like the plague.