I'm not into calling movies "the greatest ever made." I leave that up to the lazy marketing people who throw the term around whenever a film comes their way. Equally, I'm not one of these high-brow, jumped up wannabe critics who proclaim everything to be the "worst film ever made." That doesn't excuse Armageddon from getting a right good thrashing, as it is so full of American jingoism, plotholes and stupidity...That is, of course, if you can actually see what is happening in the movie, since the rather energetic director not only has an average shot length of roughly two seconds, but seems to enjoy employing shaky-cam to really confuse the hell out of the audience.
Some of the other reviewers seem to hail the film's plot as somehow original or amazingly new. Quite honestly, it falls into the same mould as all those other big-budget "Holy ****! Mankind is doomed!" films during the 90s like "Volcano", "Godzilla", "Dante's Peak", "Twister" and "Independence Day." It's the further thing imaginable from original, since another "space impact" movie was released just two months before "Armageddon", and whilst it's not much better, "Deep Impact" comes in just a step above this film. However, this review is for "Armageddon" so let's get back to it. The plot involves a group of deep-core oil drillers trained up by NASA to land upon the surface of an incoming asteroid, drill a hole, plant a nuke and destroy it before it hits Earth, killing everything where "not even bacteria would survive." It sounds reasonable enough on paper, but on film it's a horrendous. For a film that seems to bring up a lot of tears and heart-felt emotion from my fellow reviewers, not one second did I ever feel the Earth was in danger. Not once. Movies are supposed to make us suspend our disbelief and take us into a new world, but thanks to the over-stylised direction by Michael Bay, I felt like I was in a 2 and a half hour music video, not a gripping piece of cinema about the end of mankind.
Believe me, I honestly do want to be positive about this film, but everything in it is so ludicrously bad it amazes me how people could possibly enjoy it. It throws all logic and scientific accuracy out of the window nearly enough every minute - people can fire chain-guns in space and gravity only comes into effect whenever it'd be most dramatic. Okay, so science is not the movie's strong point.
What about its script? You've heard the saying "two's company", right? Well this movie redefines that saying, considering there is no less than 9 credited writers. Each of them seems to have written their own movie, come together at the end and stuck them together however they could, creating all manner of subplots that never go anywhere and characters who we never actually care about. To learn that people cry over their fate is hard to believe, considering how little we know of them, and even then they're no more than stock characters.
Special effects? Is that what people like? Again, thanks to the ADD direction by Michael Bay, the effects are nothing more than cut after cut after cut of blur, smoke and sparks. The only time I saw things clearly was during the meteor shower on New York. I saw things very clearly. Too clearly, in fact, as people fall screaming to their deaths from burning buildings and the World Trade Center stands ablaze.
Sadly I'm running out of word space to describe everything else that is wrong with this movie, such as Affleck's hammy performance, but that I'll leave you to decide. Do you want to watch a giant mess of a film that offends your ears, eyes and brain with a barrage of stupidity? I hope not, but please, buy the film by all means. I'm not stopping you. I just hope common sense does.