VICTIMS: Anyone paranoid that a hurling rock from space will crash into the Earth and wipe us out at any moment. *gulp*
Aside from the impending doom of a comet/asteroid I find it very curious that both films implement the same solutions for dealing with the situation. Drilling holes into the rock and blowing it up. It’s like somebody took key elements of someone’s story and said “I’ve got a better idea.” But what came first? The comet or the asteroid?
One film covers all aspects of a realistic end of the world scenario while the other creates a huge spectacle and focuses primarily on one group of people. Deep Impact may seem slow compared to Armageddon but that’s because it contains something we don’t see in movies anymore. A well developed plot. Deep Impact deals with what happens on Earth as well as what happens during the fight to save Earth. Armageddon’s plot is basically, “There’s a really big friggin problem and we’re sending Bruce Willis and his buddies to fix it. Go grab a beer and order a pizza. We got this! America Rules!!!”. I honestly believe there would be complete and utter chaos if something like that actually happened and leaving out that part of the equation always bothered me about Armageddon.
Believability and Inaccuracies
The biggest inaccuracy of Deep Impact was that it did not address all of the environmental impacts a comet would have if it did strike Earth. The Tsunami was the only element they focused on. If an impact like that occurred than there would be a significant shift in the tectonic plates around the impact area. Events like that would cause additional cases of massive Earthquakes, and tsunami’s.
Deep Impact 1998
Armageddon, although the more successful film as far as entertainment value, has the higher amount of inaccurate details. For starters the fact that three major cities like Paris, Shanghai, and New York would be demolished by random mini asteroids is highly unlikely because a majority of the world is covered in water, therefore the ocean is more likely to be hit first. It has also been noted that the main Asteroid would be able to be seen from the Earth way before the 18 day limit set in the film do to it’s mythic proportions. It’s a million times the size of any asteroid that’s ever come within a visible distance of our planet. The largest mistake was how the crew functioned while in space. The female astronaut and the Russian cosmonaut run around in the engine room free of any anti-gravity issues. If anyone was not in a personal space suit with thrusters they would feel some sort of effects caused by zero gravity despite being inside a space ship. The entire time they are inside some form of spaceship there is no inference that they are affected by zero gravity at all.
(work cited: http://www.docshare.com/doc/12474/Armageddon-and-Deep-Impact-Movie-Response-Is-)
Deep Impact = Story, Sophistication, and Substance.
This film seems to have main characters but to me it is a collection of interesting sub-plots that all come together and create a realistic story of what would happen in the event of a world wide disaster. Tea Leoni’s plot line sticks out the most because you really see her characters growth the most. From the tough as nails reporter, loving daughter to two estranged parents, National Icon during a time of crisis, and ultimately the martyr. In my opinion she doesn’t do enough films and the fact that Vanessa Redgrave plays her mom is an added bonus.
I’d also like to recommend that Morgan Freeman be assigned Presidential duties in the event anything like this should ever happen. His presence just on screen is enough to make me feel like I’m in some form of meditative state. Like a kitten purring for no reason. And it definitely beats out the nameless president in Armageddon who spends the entire film shouting into an intercom system and doing voice over for inspirational movie montages. Totally weak sauce.
Armageddon = Bruce, Bay, Buscemi, Billy-Bob, Ben, 2 Tylers and a Russian.
This film is a typical Blockbuster. A lot of big name stars, a director known for big budget action films, cutesy comedy relief, and a story more focused on a cliche’ daddy knows best romance, than the bigger picture.
However, I can’t say that the film was terrible because there were many memorable performances throughout the film. Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler really do a great job of creating that disapproving father, son-in-law, rebellious daughter triangle. They all have good chemistry but out of that huge pool of actors that’s the most in depth character development. The only thing that comes close is the plight of Chick (Will Patton), who’s estranged wife reunites with him at the end of the film after seeing him on TV. And even that was a stretch.
Will Patton as Chick in Armageddon
Then there’s the shameful ploy of the amazing song that came out of the film by Steven Tyler. That’s right it was just ONE good song, the rest of the songs on that soundtrack are rock classics/covers. But I still know people who say “Armageddon’s soundtrack was amazing”.
The Verdict: Deep Impact is the stronger of the two films. I realize more people think Armageddon is the better of the two but that’s just not the case. If I want to throw back a few and have a good laugh with my buddies, yeah Armageddon would probably be the better choice. If I want to watch a real movie I am going to watch Deep Impact. I am a supporter of films that have some meaning to them especially in a day and age when films hardly respect good storytelling and are marketed like their bags of over processed food. Shove in a bunch of crap, tell ’em it’s good, and maybe they’ll like it.