Deep Impact

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:55 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Deep Impact
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Morgan Freeman
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures & DreamWorks Pictures
Release Date: 1998
Kiddie Movie: Some drama stuff might bore them, and millions of people get killed, although not graphically.
Date Movie: She might get weepy and hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Not really.
Action: Some, when the astronauts are on the asteroid.
Laughs: For me, at the stupid people still living on the east coast.
Memorable Scene: It was pretty cool seeing New York City getting wiped out.
Memorable Quote: Jenny (Tea) is having a drink with her dad and new step-mom, after figuring out Earth is on its way out, and the step-mom says “Life goes on.” Jenny replies, “Life goes on… We’ll see.”
Directed By: Mimi Leder

How’s this for a fancy reviewer line for “Deep Impact”: “Deep Impact” is one of the most predictable, emotional, roller-coaster rides I have seen on the big screen since “Titanic.” Alright, maybe it isn’t the greatest line, but “Deep Impact” was predictable, hell, it was about Earth being hit by an asteroid (and we know that happens from the trailers), and it was emotional (I did find myself anxious for the astronauts trying to blow the big space rock up, and welling up a little as people were saying goodbye). But I guess comparing it too “Titanic” is a little much – as predictable and somewhat emotional, it wasn’t that good, mostly maybe, for me, because of the stupidity of everyone one Earth who died (except the, well, people who had to).

Well, you know what the movie is about – a big asteroid is heading for Earth – what are we to do? In the case of this group of Earthlings, we don’t seem to do much. In any case, let’s start at the beginning. Tea Leoni stars as Jenny Lerner, an up-and-coming newsperson who is trying to make her way up the newsperson ladder. She stumbles on a seeming sex-scandal story in Washington D.C. (oh, like this is topical anymore?). In any case, she’s ready to blow the story open, but in a secret meeting with President Beck (Morgan Freeman), he convinces her to hold off for a couple of days. Get this – she does. Well, the story comes out that it isn’t a sex scandal, but an asteroid is heading for Earth.

Alright, I can buy it so far, and at this point there’s about a year left before the asteroid hits, and the government has a plan – send a spaceship with some astronauts to land on the asteroid and blow it up before it hits. Sounds good to me, and it’s ten months till our astronauts make it there, but our newsgirl Jenny asks something like “What if that doesn’t work.” “Don’t worry,” says the Prez, “It will.” Guess what, it doesn’t.

Alright, plan number two, lets shove a bunch of people in a cave for a couple of years. So, with that, we have the impending end of life as we know it, and our story has turned from an adventure film of blowing up an asteroid, to people planning their end. You get your typical “I’m not leaving you, I’d rather die with you than live without you” scenes, you’ve got some scenes of looting and stuff, and you’ve got people being airlifted to the big cave. Then we get some heroes, a big tidal wave, cities being wiped out, and people surviving. In the end, a nice film, but what was wrong?

I’ll pose what was wrong by asking a few questions. One, you’ve got about a year until a big asteroid is going to wipe out most of life on Earth for about two years – what do you do? We sort of used to ask this question back in college, but instead of a year, you had about 20 minutes because Russia was launching some nukes. Our solutions back then – drink heavily, head for the roof, and catch one mean old suntan, or head to the girls residence hall and say “Hey baby, the world is going to end in 20 minutes. How about you and I end it with a bang!” Some guys actually tried the latter, without the imminent threat of nuclear war, and usually ended up being slapped. But, what if you had a year? Would you trust your survival on the hopes the government could get something right on the first try? I doubt it. Me, I’d be digging a cave of my own, and stocking up on the essentials, things like beer, “Twinkies,” matches, and toilet paper.

Alright, I’ve got a head start on everyone else on my asteroid shelter, but problem number two – why was anyone still living on a coast, other than some ambitious surfer dudes and dudettes, when there were two months from the time of knowing the astronauts screwed up, and the time the asteroid would hit the earth. Hmm, Earth is a whole bunch more water than land, and if the asteroid hits that water it will create one gnarly wave most likely to reach into, like Ohio on the east coast, and maybe like Utah on the west – I’m staying in New York City and hoping the asteroid hits the Pacific. Come on, move your butt to someplace nice and cozy, someplace like the midwest. As sad as it sort of was, all those people being washed away to sea on the east coast, I say too bad – you should have moved.

“Alright, Dude, that can’t be everything bad with the movie, you said it wasn’t that good.” True, there were a bunch more flaws in human nature in “Deep Impact,” but I guess the end problem in the movie, short of a few good performances, and a couple of cool scenes, was that the movie lacked the consistency in both from beginning to end. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is pretty entertaining, but in these days of standards being pushed to another level, pretty entertaining becomes just another movie, even if millions of people died (I will say it again – they were stupid).

So, I did like “Deep Impact,” even with the stupid people, but in the end there were too many scenes of not great acting, too many scenes of total predictability, and too many scenes, well, maybe too many intertwined story lines – you had the astronauts, the newsgirl, the kid who found the comet and his chick, families in turmoil, and oh yea, a big ol’ asteroid. It was just too much.

I’ll give “Deep Impact” 3 out of 5 stars. It was good, not great, and it might even bring a tear to your eye.

That’s it for this one, I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!