Armaggeddon (1998)

“Armageddon” (http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800020333/info) is the type of film that has the potential for a great modern space travel film that will test human engineering and friendship to its ultimate level. While the stories about the Earth coming to end by outer space means such as an asteroid or alien attack have been done almost to death, “Armageddon” allows the public to get a basic outlook on the abilities of NASA when it comes to the shuttles and their ability to monitor the sky. Only a very small portion of it and it’s a very large sky. And that is true about NASA technology. They don’t have the massive ability or funds to monitor the whole sky for such occurrences.

When it comes to a movie about the end of the world, there needs to be a great lead. Someone who has the ability to carry an entire movie, even if the plot is terrible. Bruce Willis was an excellent choice for the lead and the carrier of the film. He has yet to disappoint from his movie “Blind Date” to “The Expendables.” Mr. Willis had a great supporting cast working with him to create the passion, the heartache, and sense of desperate survival that was really needed to make parts of the movie believable. Aspecially when the first shuttle is destroyed and the second is suck on the asteroid. As many times before, in end of the world films, people from all walks of life, come together to prove that we all have one goal. To survive. And it’s not a war with another country. It’s the survival of our planet. Our Home. Then, right behind this thought, comes another. Michael Bay seems to like to bring this particular message into most of his films. And he certainly likes to try to destroy the planet every now and then.

With a supporting cast including Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, and Michael Clark Duncan, there was one actress who did not cover her own role. It seemed like she was the actress who was chosen for the role of Bruce Willis’ daughter because her father was singing the lead song. Liv Tyler has yet to impress when it comes to her acting abilities. She did not even impress in Lord of the Rings. Even surrounded by such a great cast, she was still less than impressive. She did a passable job in her role of Bruce Willis’ daughter, but that should not be enough. And if that was her 100 percent acting ability, she should not have been cast. Sometimes, going with a no name for such roles, is the best way to go.

While “Armageddon” had so much to be remembered by, it was maybe one particular scene that many fans and this author included, will always remember. It was the scene when Bruce Willis says goodbye to his daughter while he’s stuck on the asteroid. The scene could have won the award of best tear-jerking scene in 1998 films. It was heart-breaking. This author herself was in tears and it was not because of Liv Tyler’s performance, but something deeper. It was the fact that even thou lives had been forever changed, father and daughter were able to say goodbye, even from that distance. And that each knew that they would never see each other again. The feeling behind it, even now, still brings tears to the eyes.

As in many films about space flight, there is always out-landish concepts to deal with. Yet, with “Armageddon”, this author was hoping for a more modern and realistic approach to the space flight. The way it was portrayed was a little annoying and funny at the same time. This author was born and raised in Florida, with many visits to Kennedy Space Center under her belt, so the understanding of shuttle launches is there. Even after this movie was made, the question was asked to Kennedy Space Center employees on whether or not those two space shuttles could have actually launched within seconds of each other and being that close to each other. They could not. First thing, the launch pads are quite a distance from each other, not together. Yet, this is movie, a story of fiction, so anything is possible. Not to take away from the scene, which is one of this author’s favorites, it was a very dramatic scene with the proper music to tag along with it. And no one can accuse Michael Bay of not being dramatic in his films or in a statement he has wanted his films to make.

Sadly, this film carried a pace of being fast, then breaking to stop, then picking up again in its plotline speed. While the scenes on the asteroid had their desired impact of desperate escape and struggle to save all life on Earth, it did seem to drag at parts. The films itself was enjoyable and blockbuster, but there was much that could have been shorten or cut completely. The whole love story could have been much shorter as well as the asteroid scenes, giving the movie the ability to still carry the same impact and impart the same message. Great movie and one of Bruce Willis’ best.