Deep Impact

Bomb Rating: 

Comets heading toward the Earth is where all this "women and children first" crap ends.

Two comets are coming straight for your planet and you live near an ocean. What are the chances you are going to be seeing water levels rise significantly in the very near future? Pretty damn high, I'd say. While this film may suppose that that's a conundrum for every single idiot living on the Eastern seaboard, the rest of us don't wait to hop in our SUV's at the last minute to drive out of town. Seeing all those people sitting in a massive traffic jam was a laugh riot. Talk about rooting for the comet.

Then again, nothing makes a whole lot of sense in this picture, which is supposed to imagine what it would be like if we discovered a really big comet was definitely going to hit the Earth. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R build a huge spaceship and send it off with Robert Duvall and some other nobodies in it to blow up the comet with nuclear bombs. What's the deal with "the biggest" spaceship? How about a whole bunch of small ships and a whole bunch of nuclear bombs? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

The story sort of centers around Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni), who becomes MSNBC's anchorwoman after she breaks the comet story and gets to ask the President (Morgan Freeman) the first questions about it. This is all incredibly convenient since the second act has Téa narrating the whole spaceship thing. This would have been just great if Téa didn't read the news like a dyslexic reading James Joyce.

The imminent approach of the comets gives all the main characters: the astronauts, Jenny, the President, and Leo (Elijah Wood), ample time to figure out how to act oh-so-noble. The most creative director Mimi ("The Peacemaker") Leder can be is to have them give up their free pass to a bunch of underground caves in order to reconcile with the ones they love. What BS. Comets heading toward the Earth is where all this "women and children first" crap ends. Personally, I'm playing a little punt, pass, and kick with every infant I find if it means I'm getting a seat on the bus to survival. That is, if I'm so stupid that five weeks isn't enough time for me to get ahold of a gross of Power Bars, get in my car, and find some place significantly higher above sea level to hang out.

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