Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
A giant, reptilian monster has surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake. To stop this monster (and its babies), an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.
Journalist Jenny Lerner is assigned to look into the background of Secretary Alan Rittenhouse who abruptly resigned from government citing his wife's ill health. She learns from his secretary that Rittenhouse was having an affair with someone named Ellie but when she confronts him, his strange reaction leads her to reconsider her story. In fact, a comet, discovered the previous year by high school student Leo Biederman and astronomer Dr. Marcus Wolf, is on a collision course with the Earth, an Extinction Level Event. A joint US-Russian team is sent to destroy the comet but should it fail, special measures are to be put in place to secure the future of mankind. As the space mission progresses, many individuals deal with their fears and ponder their future. Written by
It seems 1998 was the year Hollywood turned to the idea of the world being decimated by objects from outer space to fuel their disaster films. Both 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon' were released in that year but while I did enjoy the thrill and special effects of the latter film, I find 'Deep Impact' the superior of the two.
The film begins when a teenage amateur astronomer discover a comet on a direct collision course for the Earth. The world is then thrown into turmoil has humanity has to accept their possible extinction. While NASA sends a shuttle up with the intention to try to blow the comet to bits, the US government selects people to be saved in a cave they are building to withstand the event. Focusing on various unrelated characters, the film shows how people react differently to the destruction of all that they know.
The brilliant cast, including Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Devall, Elijah Wood, Ron Eldard and many others, all given great depictions of their characters. It is because of their ability to bring their respective characters to life that 'Deep Impact' stands up so well as it is a very emotional and character driven story, as opposed to 'Armageddon', which relied much more on humour and special effects to sell it. Téa Leoni is the only one who doesn't shine through like her co-stars as her performance is quite bland and doesn't capture her character's turbulent emotions. However, as the rest of the cast give great performances, it's easy to overlook her. And even though there is much attention given to establishing the characters doesn't mean the film skimps when it comes to the special effects. Both the scenes in space and those on Earth when the comet hits the planet are well-handled visually. It features some of the best special effects of planetary annihilation that I've ever seen (and I'm a big fan of these disaster flicks).
What makes 'Deep Impact' rather unique in terms of disaster films is that it gives a very human side to tragedy and devastation by showing how ordinary people cope in times of crisis but it avoids the trap of being trite and overly-sentimental. It's a shame the film is so underrated then as it is a film that would appeal to sci-fi fans and those seeking an interesting story with strong characters.
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