8 out of 10


Cowboys save Earth with Panache

Mankind threatened with extinction by a comet strike sound familiar? Armageddon is the film that "Deep Impact" should have been. Instead of showing boring stoic World leader stereotypes grappling with the breakdown of order with well-laid plans, it details a hastily thrown-together ramshackle mission by NASA caught embarrassingly off-guard. And as catastrophe looms (the mass-destruction of Paris in France is truly awesome), the World leadership is so unable to cope that at one point the US Army turn up at the NASA Control Room and start threatening them with guns. Regrettably, I suspect, in the event of the threat of a world cataclysm, this is far more likely the way in which our leaders would react.

Yet the beauty of the film is not in the story, but in the brilliant characterization and fine script, peppered with some of the best dry humour I`ve heard in years, the bulk of which comes not from Bruce Willis, but from his bizarre Geologist whose deadly black humour includes asking the others, shortly before takeoff, how they feel to be sitting on top of several thousand tons of high explosive, in a machine with 200,000 moving parts, each built by the LOWEST BIDDER. On another occasion, he climbs astride a Thermonuclear bomb to shout "Hi-Ho Silver! We`re on our way to save you Earth!", and when told to get off it, he complains, "Well, I only wanted to feel the power between my legs!"

The most memorable line of the film comes from the Russian cosmonaut whom they pick up en route, played brilliantly by Peter Stormore. When told not to touch the equipment because he won`t understand it, he retorts, "American, Russian? Who cares?....It`s all made in Taiwan!"

Many commentators claim this is just another "America saves the Earth because the rest of the world is too stupid" film. It is not. It is a "Texas saves the Earth, because America is too stupid" film!

A truly exciting and fun adventure film

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett