Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
USA, 1998. Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Digital Image Associates. Story by Robert Roy Pool, Jonathan Hensleigh, adaptation by Tony Gilroy, Shane Salerno, Screenplay by Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams. Cinematography by John Schwartzman. Produced by Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd. Music by Trevor Rabin. Production Design by Michael White. Costume Design by Magali Guidasci, Michael Kaplan. Film Editing by Mark Goldblatt, Chris Lebenzon, Glen Scantlebury. Podcast: My Criterions.
When a giant asteroid heading straight towards Earth is discovered by scientists, the American government quickly puts together a drilling team to go up into outer space and blast it apart before it can destroy all of humanity. Bruce Willis leads the team that also includes Steve Buscemi (the Funny Guy), Michael Clarke Duncan (the Tough Token Black Guy), William Fichtner (the Anal Corporate Guy), Ben Affleck (the Teen Beat guy with the perpetual stubble that stays the same length for two weeks), Billy Bob Thornton (the Ed Harris guy back on the ground who barks at everyone, intelligently) and Liv Tyler (the Gurrrl).
Directed by former music video director Michael Bay, this film features his usual ridiculous collection of superficially photographed vistas, cardboard macho guys who grunt endlessly, wispy women who swoon in any man’s arms, and non-stop second unit footage of good clean Americans living their wholesome lives (if I have to see one more random child in a tiny dusty Middle American town wearing faded jean coveralls and a baseball cap running in slow motion with a Please Save My Future look on his face…). Think The Rock, Pearl Harbour and all the other crap Bay has so generously contributed to, and include an equally boring and flat screenplay.
This film came out the same year as another Disaster-Earth film, Deep Impact, which was marginally better because it had more believable characters, but at the same time took itself too seriously which thankfully Armageddon does not do. Willis does a survivable job with his incoherent dialogue, while Affleck and Tyler’s constant scenes of endless cooing are downright slap-worthy.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Visual Effects; Best Sound; Best Sound Effects Editing; Best Original Song (“I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”)