After a collision with a comet, a nearly 8km wide piece of the asteroid "Orpheus" is heading toward Earth. If it hits, it will cause an incredible catastrophe which will probably extinguish mankind. To stop the meteor, NASA wants to use the illegal nuclear weapon satellite "Hercules," but soon discovers that it doesn't have enough firepower. Their only chance to save the world is to join forces with the USSR, which has also launched such an illegal satellite. But will both governments agree?Written by
The rockets sent to hit the meteor would not burn their engines for the entire trip from launch to impact. Rockets are very fuel-thirsty. The ones in the movie would burn for a few minutes to achieve escape velocity and get on an intercept path. They would coast the rest of the trip to the meteor. See more »
It really isn't very good, there is no way of getting around the fact that this splendidly cast disaster picture is a ropey looking cheesy piece of cinema. But to pour vitriolic scorn on it like many other IMDb and Amazon reviewers have is going a touch too far, for one thing it's overlooking the fact that the film does have good points and is not short on bright moments.
Bsically a meteor the size of Brazil (for example) is heading towards Earth and one can safely assume it's a global killer that will be the dawn of a new ice age. The Americans (bless them) have a nuclear defence weapon in space called Hercules, which apparently was put up there to avert any threat from those pesky Russians. Thinking that Hercules could knock out the meteor before it dooms us all to worm bait, the Americans assemble a cunningly intelligent team to asses the possibility, trouble is is that Hercules doesn't have enough power for the job. Enter the Russians, who of course have their own nuclear weapon in space (bless them) that really wasn't put up there to avert any threat from those pesky Yanks, can the might of the East & West unite and save the world?
The effects look dated and weak but it's still a hell of a lot of fun watching a 1979 disaster film try so hard to entertain us. The film contains an avalanche sequence that is highly entertaining (not intentionally it should be noted!), a sequence of our hardy band of smarties down in the broken sewers is also well worth the wait, and of course the cast is definitely worth an interest. Sean Connery (saying one of the best lines ever written), Karl Malden, Natalie Wood, Martin Landau, Henry Fonda (all too small a role tho), Richard Dysart and Trevor Howard, not bad really. The writing also stands up to scrutiny, a nice line in tension as the Russians and Americans try to come together in spite of mistrust and an unwillingness to show their hands.
All in all it's one to pass the time of day away with if you aren't in a particularly demanding mood. 5/10
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