Cast: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi, Liv Tyler
Director: Michael Bay (Bad Boys, The Rock)
Previews Shown: There's Something About Mary, Lethal Weapon 4, Small Soldiers, Mighty Joe Young, Enemy of The State
Okay, it's time to prepare your Armageddon survival pack. No, not for the end of the world, but for the viewing of the latest testosterone fest from Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay (the team that "welcomed" you to The Rock). First, a pillow, this can be used for either sleeping, during those mind-numbingly overdone, convoluted effects sequences, or, just to keep your backside from going to sleep during the 155 minutes that the movie is onscreen. Second, take some Dramamine, or your favorite motion sickness medication, because the editing makes you feel like you're riding a roller coaster that won't end. The sequences are choppily spliced together to the point where, during some of those action sequences..you may not be able to know what is going on, other than a lot of crashing and exploding. Thirdly, you may want to take a port-a-john, or wear Depends, see same reason above..movie length. But, you get the picture..the movie is just too long. It could've used about 30 minutes worth of editing.
I have often compared seemingly predictable and cliched movies, to a roller coaster ride. You know where it starts, and you know where it ends..and you're pretty sure of how it is going to get there. I don't mind these kind of movies, as long as the ride is interesting, it doesn't bother me if I already know where its going. Armageddon is a movie like that, you can see where it's going, all of the situations, and characters are painfully obviously. Every situation sets up another, and anyone with an IQ in triple digits, should see right where they're going. Some of these situations work..most don't..and some seem to be there to unsacrimoniously elicit emotions from the audience.
I didn't completely dislike this movie, not as much as Godzilla. It had some likable parts, some of the effects, were kind of cool to watch (in an ooh ahh fireworks manner, you've seen them before, but still neat), and while I hated to admit it, some of the emotional scenes worked as well (won't disclose any more than that), and some of the performances worked for me too. The always likable Billy Bob Thornton (what he's doing here, I'll never know..) makes the best of what he's given, as does Steve Buscemi (his second comic-relief-in-a-not-so-good-action-movie role, following Con-Air) . Otherwise, the rest, including the very watchable Liv Tyler, are resorted to one dimensional cliché caricatures.
Overall, a waste of a good idea, (Deep Impact was a better, and different type of movie, and both could've co-existed), a good cast (normally reliable action star Bruce, appealing Liv, red-hot Affleck, reliable Thornton, and we get this..tsk tsk Mr Bay, back to MTV for you) and an amazing hype campaign (the Disney promo machine at its finest). My suggestion would normally be to wait to rent this one..but the effects merit at least a theater visit, so save it for the discount theaters ($ of $$$$)
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