What movie was that...?

05 January 2010


directed by Michael Bay

Before he was known as the Great Ruiner (my name for him), Jerry Bruckheimer used to put on a pretty good show, and before he became the Great Ruiner, Jr. (also my name for him), Michael Bay used to work pretty well with Jerry Bruckheimer. By placing the two halves of their overblown, special effects loving, big budget medallion together, the duo unleashed the guilty pleasure force of Armageddon, the finest piece of end of the world cheese in existence. J. J. Abrams, please don't follow the same path as Bruckheimer (I see you in those opening credits, my friend). No amount of cataclysmic weather phenomena (sorry Twister, Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and any other subpar catastrophe film) or alien invasions (stay golden, ID4, Mars Attacks and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) can hold water against the sheer power of a badass asteroid careening toward earth at mind boggling speed. It’s a good thing that Billy Bob Thornton is the head of NASA, that way he can call in Bruce Willis and his team of convicts and perverts to fly into space, facing some of the harshest environments ever experienced and drill a hole in the mother. Sounds like the perfect script. This is the kind of film that just aches to be ripped apart and insulted to death, and while there are countless weaknesses (the editing, for example. Who let the new guy edit the gazillion dollar blockbuster?), Armageddon possesses that elusive element that makes it a film worthy of countless viewings. A cast boasting ridiculously complex performances by such supporting role heavyweights as Will Patton (Chick) and William Fichtner (Colonel Sharp), as well as great performances by Owen Wilson (with a relaxed comedic timing that pre-sages the improv heaven of today’s comedies), Michael Clark Duncan and Steve Buscemi only work to enhance the get-on-board-with-the-story allure of such a film. While I don’t know what was going on in the room when the Criterion meetings were taking place, apparently they saw it fit to add this gem to their canon of classics, so it has that going for it, which is nice.

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