Deep Impact (1998)

End of Days Movie Fest: Space Apocalypse!

It’s the end of the world as we know it, so expect spoilers. You have been warned.

Last night I watched Deep Impact starring Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Morgan Freeman. This film came out around the same time as, and was considered the thinking man’s version of, the Bruce Willis masterwork, Armageddon. Elijah Wood finds an asteroid barreling towards earth while hitting on some girl. Meanwhile, Tea Leoni is trying to find out about some bogus resignation. Well, she stumbles into a plot to save humanity- spearheaded by President Morgan Freeman’s America and “The Russians”. They have three courses of action. A manned space mission to detonate the asteroid from the inside results in making TWO asteroids, but not destroying it as planned. The second option, a plan I like to call “Nuke ‘Em”, fails as well. The only option left for humanity is to huddle in a cave, you either have to be an important person or win a lottery to get in there. The first asteroid hits, flooding everything east of the ohio river, but before the second one enters earth’s atmosphere is is blown up by a suicide mission carried out by the crew from Option 1. The film closes on the nation rebuilding, with President Freeman addressing the nation from the steps of the under-construction whitehouse.

All of the character stories are muddled, this is definitely a plot movie. Any emotion is derived from the thought of everyone in the world dying. Even this most dreadful of atmospheres is frequently betrayed by the shockingly poor decision making by individuals in the film. Morgan Freeman’s constant “We Failed” speeches are interesting, his final “We Failed, and now we’re F***ed” speech especially so.

This is definitely a 90’s Clinton-Era summer blockbuster film, from the terrible soundtrack, over reliance on immature computer graphics, and awkward throwbacks. For example, the shuttle program is in full swing and the World Trade Center somewhat survived the wall of water that covered the Eastern United States. Also missing is the grit. No crooked politicians, no doomsday culters, no rampant raping, looting, and pillaging. Oddly missing as well- free speech zones. The areas around key government facilities were open to public protest. I almost forgot we had civil liberties at one point in our history.

Deep Impact is a puppet show with an interesting plot. Characters are one dimensional and the only real excitement is seeing the stage catch on fire. My only regret is they didn’t have the courage to let the whole thing burn.

Why you should see it:

  • You can’t get enough Morgan Freeman (He’s very Morgan Freemany in this one.)
  • You like “Get me the President!” style situation room disaster movies

Why you should skip it:

  • You feel strong, believable characters are required for an interesting story.
  • You want special effects that hold up to the scrutiny of time.
  • You want to see the dark side of humanity facing extinction.

Leave a Reply


There aren't any comments at the moment, be the first to start the discussion!