Thursday, October 14, 2010

ARMAGEDDON (1998) - Bruce Willis fights an asteroid

Michael Bay is a guy that gets a lot of crap for making big, dumb action movies with an explosion lighting up the screen every five seconds on average and retarded dialogue. He also makes some of the biggest blockbusters and is probably bathing in an Olympic sized swimming pool full of Aztec gold and Canadian dollars at this very moment. This is the guy that gave this undeserving world guy classics like Bad Boys, The Rock, and Transformers. All of them are fun, quotable movies that improve greatly in quality after the downing of a few beers. His movies might be shit-tier, but when unless your friends are hipster, pretentious assholes, when you and your buds decide to grab a couple brews and watch a movie, chances are it'll be something like the stuff Michael Bay pumps out instead of Schindler's List.

The French Revolution: Revenge of the Downtrodden, opening Summer 2011.
Armageddon is in essence a disaster flick, but one which like most Bay movies has a good amount of comedy thrown into the mix, and a lot, and I mean, a whole-fucking-lot of sappy, sentimental scenes. The film opens with a pretty cool scene of New York getting bombarded by car-sized asteroids blowing shit up and scaring people. Then, in dramatic Michael Bay fashion, we hear a pulsating, synth soundtrack which leads into a scene featuring some NASA big wig played by Billy Bob Thornton trying his best to look geeky and cool at the same time. We find out that our beautiful planet Earth is going to be hit by a bluish-green asteroid from hell the size of Texas. It's going to hit the Earth in a few weeks and everyone is going to die. Since this movie is set in the 1990s, there is no John Cusack to save us as in 2012, because, well, John Cusack was still making mostly shitty comedies and chick flicks.

Bruce Willis as an astronaut displaying his great dramatic face.
Then Billy Bob's science team decides the only way to save Earth is to fly a Space Shuttle out to it, land some astronauts, drill an 800-foot deep tunnel and throw a nuclear bomb down the hole. But Armageddon being a manly movie, could not just have some dainty nerd astronauts with pocket protectors and masters degrees in thermodynamics. Hell no. It turns out that only a team of oil drilling expert rednecks led by Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis)  has what it takes to operate the complicated machinery. Errr.... okay. His team is composed by a bunch of goofy characters, which in true Bay fashion are mostly there to be killed off in cool ways or to spout off one liners at a rate of about one a minute.

Speaking of goofy, there's a very decent cast. Steve Buscemi plays a genius who is horny most of the time, Owen Wilson plays himself as he does in every movie, Michael Clarke Duncan plays the cool black guy, and Ben Affleck plays A.J., the rebellious young kid who is trying to get in the pants of Harry's daughter. You see, Harry's daughter is Liv Tyler, so can we really blame the guy?

Our misfit heroes go to NASA and basically don't do jack shit during their training, but still get sent up to the asteroid. Things begin to take a turn for the worse when one of the Space Shuttles gets blown up approaching the asteroid, and the world is left wondering if the inbred oil miners are still alive and whether they should maybe just abandon hope, light up a last smoke and watch the fireworks. Speaking of fireworks, Michael Bay must have a paranoid fear of his audience falling asleep during his movies, so he has a piece of the asteroid fall off and smash into Paris. I won't lie, it was pretty damn awesome seeing that flaming rock troll France like that.

Michael Bay hates the French.
I won't give away the ending, just in case the one person left in the world who hasn't seen this movie yet were to read my blog by chance, but as you can imagine, it's sappy and you can spot the plot twist a mile away. Armageddon is tons of fun though. It's stupid as hell but ultimately entertaining. There's few things better than watching Steve Buscemi go full retard in space and shoot up things with a gatling gun or watching Peter Stormare as the crazy Russian cosmonaut stuck in a space station for 18 months. Armageddon is pretty quotable, and it doesn't take itself seriously like most other disaster movies.

TL;DR - Die Hard in space, but the bad guy is an asteroid and rednecks save the day - 7.5/10