Deep Impact

16  MAY
Heaven and Earth are about to collide.

Directed by  Mimi Leder
Written by  Bruce Joel Rubin, Michael Tolkin
Starring:  Robert Duvall (Spurgeon Tanner)
Téa Leoni (Jenny Lerner)
Elijah Wood (Leo Biederman)
Vanessa Redgrave (Robin Lerner)
Morgan Freeman (President Beck)
Maximilian Schell (Jason Lerner)
James Cromwell (Alan Rittenhouse)
Runtime: 120 minutes

Deep Impact features one great special effect, a big wave flooding New York, which is really impressive and is worth seeing. However, this is the only good (but short) thing in the whole movie which is otherwise a complete mess!

The story is not new and seems to be a bit overused in this period to make movies and TV mini-series: a comet is going to collide with Earth and the human race risks extinction. The American government has various plans to avoid this from happening, firstly they try to send a spaceship on the comet to split it into smaller and harmless pieces and failing that they intend to use the nuclear missiles to perform the same task, finally they are building a huge cave that will save a million people.

Given this plot, I suppose they should have centered the story partially around the space missions and partially on the reaction of people (the masses, some 'common' people and some 'important' people who can take decisions regarding the whole planet). The part regarding the space mission was in fact dealt in a quite interesting way but the other part was completely broken! They are dealing with the end of the world and waste time with the details of the troublesome relationship between a woman and her father which hasn't much to do with the incoming disaster!

Unfortunately this is just an example of the uselessness of some characters, there are a lot of pointless situations that could have been replaced with much more interesting description of the reaction of the people to the dramatic news or alternatively, lacking of 'social' inspiration, they could have at least shown more details of the cave where one million people were going to live for months. Moreover, there are too many things that remain unexplained at the end of the movie, the most important of these is what happened to the missiles they sent against the comets (the President just said that 'they failed').

Speaking about the President, his speeches were definitely one of the worst thought parts of the movie. None of them was particularly inspiring nor they always seemed in line with the emotional happenings but the last one before the impact of the comet was a real gem with his attempt to push people to leave in mass the big cities of the East cost just to die a few moments later due to the second part of the comet hitting the Canada and "causing the extinction of every life form"!

There are various scientific inaccuracies and also many outrages to the common sense. The most unbelievable thing is the fact that a lot of nuclear missiles didn't manage to do anything at all to the comets while four bombs on a spaceship completely reduced the biggest comet in so many small pieces that resulted only in a nice pyrotechnic effect in the sky. Considering the dramatic importance of the events, everybody seemed too calm, including the masses of people on the highway and the man reading the newspaper just before the big wave coming from behind engulfed him!

Probably I've never seen a movie that misses the point so grossly as Deep Impact does! The lack of sensible scenes of panic and the calm of the people were highly in contrast with my own exasperation and irritation. So, after the fairly boring but still tolerable beginning, the movie goes down to unacceptable levels of stupidity and hits the bottom with the overall happy finale.

Rating: 5.0  *

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999