Directed by: Michael Bay Cast: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Steve Buscemi Running Time: 2 hrs 30 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: April 27, 2010
PLOT: A group of rag-tag American oil drillers are sent into space to blow up an asteroid so that it doesn't destroy America. Oh, and the rest of the world, I guess. But still, America is #1. Amen.
WHO'S IT FOR?: Sometimes I think Michael Bay constructs his movies with the help of a secret government agency that produces media just to gauge a regular American's sense of patriotism. I guess there are also some of those “braniacs” out there that won’t be able to appreciate Armageddon even as a good, 150-minute-long laugh. For those who like to watch movies strictly with their brains, this movie very well could seem like the end of the world.
Even though they are made out to be The Last Great American Heroes in the movie, in real life the people of NASA don’t support Armageddon. In fact, they only recognize the film when they use it for an exercise in spotting the many, many inaccuracies. You see, Armageddon is a movie that defies logic, and options to create its own. Using a formula often utilized to make sense of whether a terribly stupid movie is worth watching, Bay’s “obliteration of the senses” tinkers with a certain equation. Stay with me here: “America, f*** yeah!” moments + cheese ball dialogue + familiar faces + Michael Bay’s cameo as a scientist X moments when the script finds a new way to put the world’s fate in jeopardy = the highest budget joke of all time. But people like jokes, and some of them can be pretty amusing, so this isn’t entirely a bad thing!
Let’s put the snark down for a second (“What are you doing with a gun in space?!”) As a whole, Armageddon is an event. For a disaster movie about fighting against the end of the world, it goes into high-stakes mode consistently. This helps make whatever implausible scenario fun to watch, even in second or third re-viewings. In the story, everything goes wrong, and then there are heart-tugging moments about bravery and sacrifice that aim to make even a statue of a bald eagle shed a tear. Especially when Affleck "jumps" an asteroid canyon, you might be so inspired that you'll suddenly stand up, put your hand over your breast, and start murmuring the Pledge of Allegiance.
Even twelve years after it first obliterated cinemas and home theaters alike, Armageddon is a worthy special effects extravaganza that can be enjoyed on either side of the movie taste spectrum. Watching Bay's movie is probably what it's like looking at an asteroid right before it explodes you to bits. You might laugh, cry, cheer, shake your head, whatever - either way, you still can't stop looking at it.
MOVIE SCORE: 6/10
Aerosmith's MTV Award-Winning Music Video "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" - Oh, neat, a high definition version of something that I could easily watch on Youtube. I can imagine a few Aerosmith fans stumbling over themselves for the opportunity to watch Steven Tyler claw at the air on their home theater system. But I also imagine not many people care either.
Theatrical Trailer Teaser Trailer
EXTRAS SCORE: 1/10
Armageddon is a big ugly asteroid with Bruce Willis riding shotgun that's ready to smash into your face, but when moving to Blu-ray it disintegrates in the atmosphere and turns into this little pebble of a package. Where are the special features to compliment the epic scale of Bay's movie? Are they all reserved for the Criterion Collection version?
You just asked, "What the shrek?" Yes. Even an arthouse DVD-publishing company famous for releasing every frame ever shot by Jean-Luc Godard has more comprehension of the size of Armageddon than this head-scratcher of a release. Talk about unpatriotic!
FINAL SCORE: 4/10