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Armageddon (1998)

Recently, lots of my friends talk about how great Interstellar is. They all love scientific and emotional elements there. But since I heard that it’s just a nerdish/pretentious version of Armageddon*….I’m not hesitate to check out that smash hit again.

Let me tell you story about me and Armageddon…back then, I’ve seen that film being promoted everywhere. From a commercial in TV to a radio that constantly played Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, there’s no way you can escape this film. But I  found a chance to watch this film few years ago, and boy, did I hate it. So, today, I decide to watch it again in order to re-evaluate how terrible it is.

The plot

I’m not going to tell you guys the plot since EVERYBODY knows about it. Plus, it looks more like made-for-TV movie that sets in space. How many times you’ve heard story about a guy (Ben Affleck) who falls in love (Liv Taylor) with a girl…but her dad (Bruce Willis) hate a guy, so a guy has to prove himself? It’s extremely cheesy and kinda awkward here. And speaking of awkwardness, we have bad characterization here. Harry’s (Bruce) team of drillers are just a bunch of jerks and comic relief (to tell you the truth, I love their training montage at NASA. It’s so hilarious I think Armageddon is a pure comedy film), especially Steve Buscemi’s character named Rockhound. At first, his character is extremely awesome since he’s really clever and loves to bang chicks. But when he goes to space, he becomes a retard! From riding a driller like it’s a fucking horse to randomly shooting thins without reasons, what he does is completely bullshit and really stupid.

MEGA EXPLOSIONS AND EXCITEMENT! (?)

Here it is, Michael Bay’s trademark of entertainment. The first scene of this film is New York city being attacked by a series of meteors. We see TONS of explosions that make us scream “Holy shit!”. But guess what? As the plot goes by, we have to see a destruction of Shanghai and Paris because of meteors again. It doesn’t have the same effect that works in the beginning of the film since we all know what’s going to happen.

Also, I think the film loses its point when our heroes go to space. There are excitement every five minutes. It’s like “Holy shit! We’re about to crash a meteor!” “Holy shit! Our spaceship is about to crash something!” “Holy shit! etc. etc. etc.”. It gets old really fast and kinda boring since it happens again and again and again and, at this point, it’s really annoying since most of characters are doing nothing but shouting to audience.

Luckily, there are few things I like about Armageddon.

Cheesiness of Armageddon

First, I love comedic stuffs in this film. In fact, this should be a straight comedic film instead of cheesy melodrama. How can you take this film seriously with scenes like these?

Hey, don’t look at me like that. At least, that Ben Affleck scenes is okay…so okay that I think he could be the next Batman since his “stunts” in that scene is not that bad.

Anyway, there’s a scene that most people remember and it become controversial…sort of

What’s wrong with it? Well, Brad Jones (a.k.a. The Cinema Snob) says that it’s one of the most cringing things he has ever seen. Really? Well, I think that scene is just a shameless product placement for BMW and Nabisco’s Animal Crackers. The film literally stops right there and then cut to this hilarious commercial. I won’t be surprised in the least if Nabisco’s logo shows up during the scene or an announcer tells us about how great the cracker is.

Talking about product placement, there’s a really great product placement in this film that I didn’t notice before. TAG Heuer bought a product placement to place its logo on NASA countdown clock! It’s really subtle and cleverer than stuffs that you see nowadays and I love it.

tagheuer

Overall

I still hate this film. I still give it thumbs down (and I can’t believe how Criterion released it on DVD). But since I’m not in the mood to learn scientific facts about space and Armageddon has one of the cheesiest rock songs in the history of mankind, Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, I think there are more chance that I will watch Armageddon again recently. But if that happen, I will watch it again while I’m drunk and have tons of friends to riff this film. That way, I can easily forget how hilariously bad this film is.

Thumbs down.

 

* There’s a critic from Boston Herald that says ““Interstellar” is a more pretentious, less plausible “Armageddon.””. I’m not sure how true it is. But at least it motivates me to watch one of the cheesiest films ever made again.

About The Author
Nuttawut Permphithak
Nuttawut Permphithak
A student who's studying in marketing. He usually spends his free-time on watching movies, listening to music, reading books, and creating things you're probably reading/listening right now.
3 Comments
  • TriptychAlessandro
    TriptychAlessandro
    November 17, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Aerosmith can do die in a car fire. And really – this got a Criterion release? That seems a bit off the wall to me.

    Interstellar looks ok – but I’ve been fooled by Nolan before. I did NOT like Inception by the way – and by every right Inception should have been right up my alley.

    • st42nwpt
      November 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Yep, Armageddon got a Criterion release. Check out an essay about it on Criterion website. It looks more like a satire than an actual article.

      Also, I HATE Inception. The concept is okay, but when you try to shove us (pretentious) message first instead of creating good storytelling first, it alienates me. South Park nails it perfectly: “Just because an idea is overly convoluted and complex doesn’t make it cool!”

      – Nutty

      • TriptychAlessandro
        TriptychAlessandro
        November 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        Well the essay IS written by Michael Bay’s former teacher – she is obviously enormously biased.

        I didn’t see Inception so much as pretentious – just a glorified action flick that was made to look smarter than it actually was. I think films like Paprika have a much better balance of action and smarts.

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