HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Armageddon The Sky Is FallingBuy this film here.
Year: 1998
Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Michael Clarke Duncan, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, Ken Campbell, Jessica Steen, Jason Isaacs, Chris Ellis, Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 6 votes)
Review: The space shuttle Atlantis is suddenly destroyed and soon after New York City is struck by an explosive meteor shower. NASA discover these are no isolated incidents - there is an asteroid the size of Texas headed towards planet Earth, and they have only a short time before impact to avert disaster. A team of oil workers led by Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) is quickly trained to become astronauts so that they can drill into the asteroid and set off nuclear bomb in its core, thereby splitting it in half and saving the world. But that's easier said than done...

Scripted by Jonathan Hensley and J.J. Abrams, with much assistance, Armageddon was the blockbuster you loved to hate even before it was released. It wasn't the sole "Earth almost destroyed by asteroid" movie of 1998, either: the tedious Deep Impact was out the same summer, and to many Armageddon was the epitome of big budget Hollywood's lack of ideas and paucity of inspiration. Today, "You would be better off watching Armageddon" is a popular and patronising film fan insult, recognised in over one hundred countries.

Any film that introduces its hero by showing him hitting golf balls at a Greenpeace protest ship is setting out a conservative agenda. But the film's concern isn't with the environment, although asteroids are natural phenomena too, but with the championing of the much-maligned modern male. Never mind those namby-pamby scientists, what you need to save the world are real men, good, honest, blue collar workers like Harry's team who restore the faith of their wives, girlfriends, sons and daughters.

Harry is in conflict with his daughter over her choice of boyfriend, because he's one of his workers, played by Ben Affleck (believing Ben Affleck works on an oil rig is the least of the stretches of credulity here). As Grace, the daughter, Liv Tyler gets little to do except represent all that's worth saving, but all that lovingly portrayed hardware should tip you off that this is a boy's movie through and through.

That's not all that's lovingly portrayed: in keeping with most nineties blockbusters, things blow up real good. This means that, after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, another destruction of a space shuttle in real life, and general large scale violence sadly more apparent than ever in the world, Armageddon has dated pretty quickly. Presenting demolition of landmarks and explosive calamity as spectacle and entertainment now feels uncomfortable to watch (look out for the World Trade Centre in flames during the opening).

Well, OK, maybe a current Hollywood blockbuster wouldn't feel too bad at seeing Paris destroyed as casually as it is in this film. One thing out of Armageddon that is blatant is that it's not the world delivering itself from annihilation, but a fantasy of the United States of America saving everyone else. There are a few montages of people of many nations looking anxiously to the skies, but it's the U.S.A. they're all depending on. The one non-American character is a comic relief cosmonaut (Peter Stormare) from the ramshackle Russian space station who the Americans rescue from an explosion (yup, another one).

Ah, you may quibble about relying on the Americans to take care of you all the time, but the solid cast should allay your doubts. As in many Jerry Bruckheimer productions, the film shrewdly casts a mixture of up and coming talent, cult and indie actors to back up the square-jawed Willis, and it's not too painful to see them bring their sketchily drawn characters to life. The effects are excellent, even if they take on a cartoonish appearance once we reach space in the second half. As a multi-million dollar exercise in pre-Millennial angst, Armageddon worked best on that cartoon level anyway, love it or hate it. Music by Trevor Rabin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 15266 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
The Elix
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: