Sunday, June 10, 2018

Movie Review: "Deep Impact" (1998)

Director: Mimi Leder
Year: 1998
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 0 minutes

When it is discovered that a comet is hurtling towards earth, a group of astronauts is sent into space to drill holes in the comet that they will drop nukes inside of it so they can blow the space rock to pieces.
"Life will go on. We will prevail." (Image Source)
We guess our only solution to combat a giant space rock barreling towards earth is to drill holes into it and blow it to hell with nukes. "Deep Impact" is directed by Mimi Leder, who has directed films like "The Peacemaker" and "Pay It Forward." It is written by Bruce Joel Rubin, who worked on films like "Ghost" and "Jacob's Ladder," and Michael Tolkien, who wrote movies like "Gleaming the Cube" and "The Player." The film stars an ensemble cast and has many characters, though the majority of the movie is focused on a reporter named Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni), who accidentally uncovers the story of the extinction level event facing earth that the government and the POTUS (Morgan Freeman) is trying to keep under wraps. The New York City-sized comet was discovered by a young astronomy student named Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood), who also stumbled upon it by accident. A bit of the movie focuses on him, his family, and girlfriend/wife (Leelee Sobieski) as well because if the world's going to end, might as well let the kids get married! The last portion of the story looks at the group of astronauts that have been tasked with flying a mission to the comet, landing on it, drilling a few holes in it, and blowing it apart with nuclear weapons. If they fail, the earth will face the extinction level event they all fear.
"The comet is bigger than Mt. Everest." (Image Source)
1998 was quite the year for planet-destroying space rocks. "Deep Impact" was the first of two films on that very subject to come out that year. One of our biggest problems with this movie is not that it's a dumb premise, it's that those involved don't realize they are in a dumb movie. Just about everyone in this picture is way too self-serious as they try to create an epic disaster film full of many characters and relationships that are overly dramatic and unnecessary. Much of the story focuses on the people on the ground as Téa Leoni's Jenny Lerner prattles off exposition from her news desk. Morgan Freeman delivers inspirational monologues about how Americans aren't going to descend into anarchy just because the world is coming to an end, as if the president can say there will be no hoarding or price gouging and magically people would be like, "yeah, ok, I will not hoard non-perishables for the upcoming nuclear winter." Director Mimi Leder also doesn't do a great job developing some of the more important characters, mainly the astronauts who are assigned with the task of saving the entire freakin' world. We can hardly remember their names or the actors who played them, which means we sure as shit don't care what happens to any of them.
"Our missiles have failed. Comets are still heading to earth, and there's nothing we can do to stop it." (Image Source)
We love a good disaster movie. "Deep Impact" had a lot going for it in its strong cast and workable premise...if it had been executed well. Unfortunately, it lacks excitement and real drama. We often found ourselves bored and fatigued with what was going on in the story because the film relies too heavily on exposition and not enough on fun sci-fi action and/or total extinction. In the end, this winds up being terribly mediocre in every way possible.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
RT Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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