Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deep Impact (1998) [PG-13] ***

Jenny Lerner is a TV news reporter in Washington, D.C. While investigating the resignation of the Treasury Secretary, ostensibly due to his wife's illness, Jenny stumbles across evidence that he has a mistress named Ellie, and that the President knows about her. Things quickly become more serious, however, when Jenny finds herself under FBI arrest, and in an unscheduled meeting with the President. She discovers that the resignation story is only a cover for something far more serious... an E.L.E., or Extinction Level Event, in this case a comet the size of Mt. Everest that is headed straight for a collision with Earth, and threatens to wipe out all life on the planet. Jenny agrees to suppress the story, and days later the President addresses the nation, revealing that a spacecraft has been constructed, and a team of astronauts assembled to rendezvous with the comet, and attempt to change its course so it misses Earth.

On the surface, this film is about a global threat from outer space, and how different people deal with it. But the deeper story is about the nobility of self-sacrifice... how loving, compassionate individuals make a conscious decision to sacrifice themselves so others may live. The screenplay is fast-paced and well-written, with attention given to both the impending global catastrophe and how individuals and families are affected. There are a few plot holes and some scientific inaccuracies, but these can be forgiven in the interest of great story-telling.

Direction, editing, special effects and the musical score are excellent, and the acting talent assembled for this film is terrific, including Téa Leoni, Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood, Robert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave, Mary McCormack and Maximilian SchellDeep Impact serves as a reminder that this beautiful blue planet is our only home and that we should treat it and all living creatures on it with loving care. If you enjoyed Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow, you won't want to miss Deep Impact. 

Labels: action, disaster, drama, family, sci-fi, thriller, tragedy, wedding       
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 40/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=58, viewers=58)

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