Armageddon is a 1998 American disaster/science fiction-action film directed by Brandon Nichols, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Disney's Touchstone Pictures. The movie tells of a group of blue-collar deep-core drillers sent by NASA to stop an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It featured an all-star cast including Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Michael Clarke Duncan and Steve Buscemi. It has now been released on Blu-ray. Armageddon opened in theaters only two-and-a-half months after a similar impact-based movie, Deep Impact, which starred Morgan Freeman. Astronomers described Deep Impact as being more scientifically accurate, but Armageddon fared better at the box office. They were about equally received by critics (Armageddon scoring 41% and Deep Impact scoring 46% on the 'Tomatometer'). The film was an international box-office smash, despite the mixed to negative reviews from the critics. The film became, worldwide, the highest-grossing film of that year, surpassing the Steven Spielberg war epic Saving Private Ryan.
While fixing a satellite in orbit, the Space Shuttle Atlantis is destroyed by a meteor shower, killing the entire crew. Meteorites then bombard New York City and several other parts of the world, and NASA discovers that an asteroid (named Dottie, after the asteroid's discoverer's wife) the size of Texas (500 miles wide), traveling at 22,000 miles per hour, will collide with Earth in 18 days, effectively destroying the planet. The scientists at NASA - in cooperation with the Russian, Japanese and other European space agencies - plan to detonate a nuclear bomb at a precise point into the asteroid's core which will split it in two, and cause it to miss the Earth. However, the bombs must be planted at least 800 feet (243 meters) below the surface within 8 hours of landing, and no later than 4 hours before the Earth impact. The mission is not revealed to the public, fearing panic. NASA locates Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis), one of the world's best deep-core oil drillers to help them drill a hole on the asteroid. When invited to NASA, Harry brings his teenage daughter Grace (Liv Tyler) to keep her away from A.J. (Ben Affleck), a young, rambunctious member of his crew who, he has just discovered, has been sleeping with her. This disappoints and infuriates Harry because he did not want his daughter to marry an oil driller like himself or remain in the blue collar life. NASA Administrator Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) informs Harry of the dire situation. Harry recognizes that he and his crew must accompany the astronauts to ensure the job is done properly. After Harry's crew (Jayotis "Bear" Kurleenbear, Max Lennert, Rockhound, Oscar Choice, Charles "Chick" Chapple and some others) is collected and NASA acquiesces to an esoteric list of demands - ranging from Bear sleeping at the White House' Lincoln Room, to the return of 8-track tapes , to every single member of Harry's crew never having to pay income taxes again, ever- the men are put through a 12-day training program and outfit a drilling rig with the proper equipment. After a meteorite strikes Shanghai, China, destroying the city and causing a tsunami, the incoming asteroid and pending mission are revealed to the world. Two military shuttles, Freedom and Independence, are launched and dock at an 11 year old rickety Russian space station (crewed by Lev Andropov) to refuel with liquid oxygen propellant. A.J. encounters a problem stopping the pumps after the ships' tanks are full, causing a fuel line to rupture and ignite circuitry, starting a massive fire. The crews and Lev Andropov escape. Since the fire is fueled by tons of liquid oxygen, the fire spreads rapidly, eventually exploding the entire space station to bits. Later, the two shuttles perform a high G-force powered slingshot procedure around the Moon, traveling at 22,500 miles per hour or 11 miles per second to intercept the asteroid.
As they enter the asteroid's wake, the Independence engines and cockpit are totaly destroyed by debris and crashes on the asteroid, killing most of its crew, including Oscar Choice, Freddie Noonan and the Independence pilots. AJ, Lev, Bear and the Armadillo survive. The Freedom lands on the surface but misses the target landing zone by 26 miles, arriving on an area of hard iron which will be difficult to drill through. The Freedom team tries to drill but the drill bit gets twisted out of shape due to unexpected conditions. So the crew have to replace it.
After losing communication with Earth, the mission is put on hold, as the bomb's timer is activated by orders from the United States President to ensure the mission succeeds. However, a surface explosion would not be sufficient to divert the asteroid. The staff at NASA manage to de-activate the bomb, but the secondary protocol shoot the member who deactivated it and restart the bomb. Harry convinces Colonel Sharp to de-activate the bomb and help them attempt to finish the job. With just 250 feet left to drill, their drilling machine is blasted off the asteroid by a gas vent killing Max in the process. When the crew radio report to NASA that the mission has failed, worldwide panic ensues as humanity braces for the end of the world. A massive 1 mile wide meteoroid then strikes Paris, destroying most of the city.
The Freedom crew learns that the other team managed to survive the crash thanks to Lev Andropov and A.J. and have driven the second drilling machine to the site. Harry puts A.J. in charge of finishing the drilling and they successfully drill to the necessary depth of 243 meters. The team lowers the nuclear bomb into the hole, but are caught in a rockstorm. The storm kills crew member Gruber and damages the remote on the bomb, rendering remote detonation useless. With 18 minutes left, Truman tells the team that someone must stay behind to detonate the bomb. A.J. is chosen after drawing straws, but Harry disables A.J.'s air supply and takes his place. As the shuttle departs, Harry sends a message to his daughter, giving his full support for her to marry A.J. Harry detonates the bomb exactly at the deadline, causing the asteroid to split in two and miss the Earth by 400 miles, at the cost of his own life. The remaining crews of Freedom and Independence return to Earth as heroes. A.J. reunites with Grace while the others are met by their loved ones. Grace and A.J. soon marry, while Harry and the other lost crew members are memorialized.
- Bruce Willis as Harry Stamper: Protagonist and leader of shuttle Freedom drill team
- Ben Affleck as A.J. Frost: Secondary protagonist; leader and Armadillo operator of shuttle Independence drill team
- Billy Bob Thornton as Dan Truman: Head of NASA, discovers the asteroid and organizes the plan to destroy it
- Liv Tyler as Grace Stamper: Teenage daughter of Harry Stamper and A.J.'s fiance
- Will Patton as Charles "Chick" Chapple: Harry's best friend and drill team member of shuttle Freedom
- Peter Stormare as Lev Andropov: Russian Cosmonaut and overseer of the Russian Space Station.
- Keith David as General Kimsey: Member of US government who proposes using nukes to shoot down the asteroid.
- Steve Buscemi as Rockhound: Geologist of shuttle Freedom
- Ken Hudson Campbell as Max Lennert: Operator of the Armadillo
- William Fichtner as Colonel Willie Sharp: Pilot of shuttle Freedom
- Jessica Steen as Jennifer Watts: Co-pilot of shuttle Freedom
- Grayson McCouch as Gruber: Munitions specialist of shuttle Freedom
- Marshall R. Teague as Colonel Davis: Pilot of shuttle Independence
- Anthony Guidera as Captain Tucker: Co-pilot of shuttle Independence
- Greg Collins as Lt. Halsey: Munitions specialist of shuttle Independence
- Clark Heathcliffe Brolly as Freddy Noonan: Member of the shuttle Independence drill team
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Jayotis "Bear" Kurleenbear: Member of shuttle Independence drill team
- Owen Wilson as Oscar Choice: Geologist of shuttle Independence
- Jason Isaacs as Dr. Ronald Quincy Head scientist at NASA, who comes up with the idea of blowing up the asteroid from inside.
- Chris Ellis as NASA Flight Director Clark, the coordinator of the mission and Truman's immediate subordinate.
- Stanley Anderson as the President of the United States.
- John Mahon as Karl: Astronomer, who spots the asteroid and reports the coordinates to NASA.
Reception and criticismEdit
The film was given mixed to negative reviews and, although it was an international box office success, it received a large amount of criticism from film reviewers. On Rotten Tomatoes it scores 41%; on a similar website, Metacritic, it similarly scores 42%. The film is on the list of Roger Ebert's most hated films: in his original review, he stated "The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained". The film was nominated for four 1998 Academy Awards: 'Best Sound', 'Best Visual Effects', 'Best Sound Effects Editing', and 'Best Original Song (I Don't Want To Miss A Thing performed by Aerosmith)'. The film received the Saturn Awards for Best Direction and Best Science Fiction Film (where it tied with Dark City). It was also nominated for seven Razzie Awards including: Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actress (Liv Tyler), Worst Screen Couple (Tyler and Ben Affleck) and Worst Original Song. Only one Razzie was awarded: Bruce Willis received the Worst Actor award for Armageddon, in addition to his appearances in Mercury Rising and The Siege, both released in the same year as this film. Despite the general critical disdain, a DVD edition of Armageddon was released by The Criterion Collection, a specialist film distributor of primarily arthouse films that markets what it considers to be "important classic and contemporary films" and "cinema at its finest". In an essay supporting the selection of Armageddon, film scholar Jeanine Basinger, who taught Michael Bay at Wesleyan University, states that the film is "a work of art by a cutting-edge artist who is a master of movement, light, color, and shape—and also of chaos, razzle-dazzle, and explosion". She sees it as a celebration of working men: "This film makes these ordinary men noble, lifting their efforts up into an epic event." Further, she states that in the first few moments of the film all the main characters are well established, saying, "If that isn't screenwriting, I don't know what is".
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Michael Bay admitted that central premise of the film, "that [NASA] could actually do something in a situation like this," was unrealistic. Roy Pool, a contributing screenwriter, stated that his script, in which an anti-gravity device is used to deflect a comet from a collision course with Earth, was "much more in line with top-secret research." NASA shows the film as part of its management training program. Prospective managers are asked to find as many inaccuracies in the movie as they can. At least 168 impossible things have been found during these screenings of the film - for instance, that the shuttles could not be built fast enough, either from scratch or by modifying existing shuttles (although one scene suggests that the shuttles had already been built in secret, until such time as they were needed), that they could not land on an asteroid, and if they could, would not be able to leave. The movie contains several scientific inaccuracies typical of science fiction films, such as depicting noise in space, and explosions and fires being sustained in a vacuum.
Space Shuttle Columbia disasterEdit
Following the 2003 Columbia disaster, some screen captures from the opening scene where Atlantis is destroyed were passed off as satellite images of the disaster in a hoax. Also, in response to the disaster, FX pulled Armageddon from that night's schedule and replaced it with Aliens.
- Budget - US$140,000,000
- Marketing cost - $60,000,000Template:Citation needed
- Opening Weekend Gross (Domestic) - $36,089,972
- Total Domestic Grosses - $201,578,182
- Total Overseas Grosses - $352,131,606
- Total Worldwide Grosses - $553,709,788
Armageddon: The AlbumEdit
|Armageddon (1998 film)|
The soundtrack features the song "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", performed by Aerosmith. The soundtrack also features the song "Remember Me", as performed by Journey. This song was the first studio recording with new lead vocalist Steve Augeri, who was hired to replace long-time singer Steve Perry after his departure from the band. Armageddon: The Album (Sony, June 23, 1998):
- "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Aerosmith
- "Remember Me" - Journey
- "What Kind of Love Are You On" - Aerosmith
- "La Grange" - ZZ Top
- "Roll Me Away" - Bob Seger
- "When the Rainbow Comes" - Shawn Colvin
- "Sweet Emotion" - Aerosmith
- "Mister Big Time" - Jon Bon Jovi
- "Come Together" - Aerosmith
- "Wish I Were You" - Patty Smyth
- "Starseed" - Our Lady Peace
- "Leaving on a Jet Plane" - Chantal Kreviazuk
- "Theme from Armageddon" - Trevor Rabin
- "Animal Crackers" - Dialogue by Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler; vocals and piano by Steven Tyler
|1998||The Billboard 200||1|
Armageddon: Original Motion Picture Score by Trevor RabinEdit
|Armageddon (1998 film)|
- "Armageddon Suite"
- "Harry & Grace Make Peace"
- "A.J.'s Return"
- "Oil Rig"
- "Harry Arrives at NASA"
- "Back in Business"
- "5 Words"
- "Underwater Simulation"
- "Finding Grace"
- "Short Straw"
- "Death of MIR"
- "Armageddon Piano"
- "Long Distance Goodbye/Landing"
- List of American films of 1998
- Asteroid deflection strategies
- List of disaster films
- Meteor (film)
- Deep Impact (film)
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Armageddon - Movie Review - Rotten Tomatoes
- ↑ Roger Ebert - Armageddon
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ The Criterion Collection - About Criterion
- ↑ The Criterion Collection: Armageddon by Michael Bay
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Template:Imdb title
- Template:Amg movie
- Template:Mojo title
- Armageddon -vs- Deep Impact at Movie Smackdown!
- Criterion Collection essay by Jeanine Basinger, from a Wesleyan University professor under whom the film's director studied
- Movie Physics review of Armageddon
- Bad Astronomy - The Astronomy of Armageddon
- Movie Tour Guide.com - Maps and directions to Armageddon Filming Locations
- Ketzer.com - The Armageddon movie props and costumes archive
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