Review Date: June 11, 1998
Director: Mimi Leder
Writer: B, Rubin, M. Tolkin
Producers: David Brown, Richard D. Zanuck
A gigantic comet is set to strike Earth within the next year. A sextet of qualified personnel are sent into space to blow the comet up before it smashes into ground zero and annihilates all of mankind. Meanwhile, all of the inhabitants of dear planet Earth must begin to deal with the not-too-unrealistic approach of Doomsday. Panic and suspense ensues.
Mostly interesting, flawed, piece about the circumstances that would follow an end of the world scenario such as this. The special effects are great (especially near the end of the film), but overall the film plays more like a drama than any kind of special effect or science-fiction extravaganza. For the most part, I didn't really "get into" the characters' personal lives, as they would have liked us to, but I must admit that these characters are a little more developed than your basic summer special-effect blockbuster (Mrs. JoBlo on the other hand, heartily felt for the characters, as displayed by her excessive unleashing of tears through most of the second half of this flick.) The actors in the movie were also pretty good, with Freeman and Duvall showing up with the strongest performances. Leoni didn't really impress me in her role as the feisty, yet sensitive, reporter, but the crew of the "Messiah" (the spaceship sent up to destroy the comet) were genuinely tough and believable. Of course, I hold a special place in my heart for John Favreau, who wrote and starred in my favourite picture of 1996, SWINGERS (9/10).
All in all, if you're in the mood for a decent time at the movie theatre, with some great special effects (when needed), I would suggest you go see this film but without too many high expectations. If you're into character development and believable personalities, I recommend you skip this sucker and go straight to your nearest video store for the latest in your "wear-care-and-tear" movies. The movie does run close to two hours, but you won't really feel it, because it does move at quite a rapid pace. Overall, a decent improvement for Ms. Leder from the dismal PEACEMAKER (4/10), but still, nothing to write home about. Oh, and one more piece of advice for Ms. Leder: try to sprinkle your films with a slight touch of humour once in a while, and things might not seem so grim to the audience. Both of her films lack highly in this regard.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian