Review Date: July 05, 1998
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams
Producers: J. Bruckheimer, M. Bay, G. Anne Hurd
The end of the world is near. An asteroid that's the size of Texas is going to crash into Earth in about 18 days, and obliterate all of humanity. The only way to veer its course from our planet is to send up a crew of professional drillers, who will attempt to insert a nuclear bomb deep inside the monstrous rock. Time is limited, the best people for the job appear to be misfits in every other dimension of life, and the world awaits its fate.
Two words: "fun stuff". This movie is exciting, packed with action, humour, some tender moments, and doesn't pretend to be anything more or less than it's supposed to be: a nacho-munching, popcorn-eating cheese-fest of special effects, fun and 144 minutes of brainless entertainment. And within those guidelines, it comes through like gangbusters! Unlike DEEP IMPACT, this film flies along without too many slow moments, and slaps you in the face every time things appear to be slowing down. It's also packed with a little more special effect fun than a mere tidal wave sequence (As slick as that sequence was in the earlier asteroid movie, it doesn't compare to all of the festivities in this one.) Obviously, character development has never been the strong suit of any Bruckheimer film, but even with that tidbit of knowledge in tow, I'm not afraid to admit that I didn't suffer a touch of the ol' wet-eye nearing the end of this well-rounded movie. The characters were obviously interesting enough for me to care about them, and the style of the film was fun enough for me to pay attention throughout its entire whacked-out ride. The acting was passable, with Willis pulling off a "regular guy" without too many wise cracks this time, Affleck doing his shtick to perfection, and Tyler, well, being there. Steve Buscemi of RESERVOIR DOGS (9/10) fame also deserves a nod for being the perfect wise-cracker in this one (And boy, are his teeth ever crooked or what??).
On the negative side, I guess the film could've been trimmed by about half an hour, as the training sequences at the beginning of the film did seem to drag at times, as did the drilling scenes near the end. The Aerosmith tunes were also a bit too obvious and a bore. I suppose one could also complain about the implausibilities of some of the film's events, but fortunately for me, I know not to go into a film of this sort with expectations of a documentary. The superiority of the wonderful land of America was also a bit of an eyebrow-raiser in this flag-waving piece, but I suppose we can't expect more for the weekend of Independence Day, right? Overall, this film tied me to my seat, peppered me some great special effects, plenty of rock 'n roll, a bunch o' fun, action, a decent plot line, and an ending that tugged at most heart-strings (Mrs. JoBlo had to let loose on this puppy as well, but not as much tearage was shed as was in DEEP IMPACT.) I had a great time in this film, and I would suggest it to all those people who like to go a film because of its sheer entertainment value, and not necessarily because of a higher meaning or intrinsic value to society. This flick was a blast! Get your tickets, warm up the nachos, bring in some tissues, turn your brain off at the door, and get ready to be genuinely socked around a rollercoaster of fun and excitement for the first time of the summer of 1998!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian