Oh woe is me, for the movie Gods, who are known to have wise and good taste of movies, shall strike me down in midst of reading this review. Everyone knows that “Armageddon” is not that great of a flick. It’s a lot of big special effects, stunt work, turned up orchestrated music –and sappy rock songs, and big budget filmmaking. It’s all brawn and little brain. Science teachers of mine who saw the movie claim that the very idea of the fantastic action that takes place every 30 seconds on the asteroid is ridiculous to say the least. Though the movie grossed in a pretty penny by the end of its run in multiplexes, audiences still joke about the fact that stupidity reigned over most of the two plus hours.
I gotta tell ya though, I like “Armageddon”. I actually like it a lot. I saw it two times when it was playing in theatres: the first was at the Crystal Lake Showplace with my mom and brother –though I had to endure my mom’s version of a great flood as she cried when Bruce Willis makes a sacrifice of a life time. The second time I saw it was at the McHenry Outdoor Theatre. This was the best of the two shows because the outdoor experience was bigger, louder, more intense, and for lack of a better way to put it, more movie going fun.
“Armageddon” is not a human drama about relationships, hardships, and resolutions –those qualities are present but for the sake of adding some depth to the movie (I’m not really sure if it was all necessary but whatever). This is a movie about eye candy fun and entertainment. It’s a heavy metal concert in which not lyrics, but style and rhythm are what really matter.
Directed by known hokey and over the top director Michael Bay, “Armageddon” does make an attempt to for humanity to itself. The most notable is the scene in which Harry (Willis) talks to his daughter (Liv Tyler) for the last time on screen and as he leaves, she places her hands on the monitor and cries. Fellas, please, if you are trying to turn a girl into putty in your hands, please make sure that you watch this part with her.
This is the kind of movie in which emotions as silly as Bay creates can work. In “Pearl Harbor” though, he tries the same thing and a movie about a horrific tragedy in American history consequentially becomes campy, immature, and lame. Bay is obviously much better with fantastic fiction.
Earlier, I used the words ‘eye candy’. Eye candy is considered to be a sub genre of movies in which flicks like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Superman” fit into. “Armageddon” takes this idea of genre and runs with it.
*** ½ Stars
-Ben Affleck is also in the movie. Every time I see “Armageddon”, I sympathize with the actor. He’s been dubbed as one of the lamest actors in recent pop history. The fact is that he’s a pretty good actor. Terrific in “Good Will Hunting” and just fine here as well. The guy has some great acting chops, but his problem is his aim of suitable roles. Hopefully soon, the damage of “Daredevil”, “Pearl Harbor”, and “Gigli” will have faded and he can turn out the familiar success of “Hunting” and “Chasing Amy”.