DEEP IMPACT (12)
D: Mimi Leder
Paramount/Dreamworks (Richard D. Zanuck & David Brown)
USA 🇺🇸 1998
W: Bruce Joel Rubin & Michael Tolkin
DP: Dietrich Lohmann
Ed: David Rosenbloom
Mus: James Horner
PD: Leslie Dilley
Robert Duvall (Capt. Spurgeon Tanner), Téa Leoni (Jenny Lerner), Elijah Wood (Leo Biederman), Vanessa Redgrave (Robin Lerner), Maximilian Schell (Jason Lerner), Morgan Freeman (President Tom Beck)
With a storyline almost identical to the same year's Armageddon, it has to be said that Deep Impact finishes second place for 1998's best Earth vs Asteroid adventure film, mostly because it takes itself way too seriously, whereas Armageddon knows it's over the top and lacks credibility. Deep Impact however, takes place in a universe where its audience are expected to believe that a teenager with a telescope can discover impending doom before all NASA's brains can. Meh.
The movie also crams in way too many characters, most of which are totally expendable and only exist to set up some awkward dialogue (the scene in which Elijah Wood asks Leelee Sobieski to marry him or 'die' is almost laughable in its awkwardness), while others seem to be used as a reference to something the script couldn't get around with better writing. There's just far too much which is throwaway, and the films most dramatic moment come only in the scene where astronauts speak with their families, begging a question why these characters weren't the sole focus the entire time.
Accolades for the worst performance must go to Tea Léoni, who is so totally unconvincing as a human being, nevermind a TV newsreader with daddy issues whose character only seems to exist as someone who can get intel on updates on the Earthbound object and to set up an overly schmaltzy scene with her daddy towards the end, supposedly as a subplot to respect family issues or some bullshit.
The film does improve in the final moments, where the Earth gets the fuck smashed out of it, although it makes no sense why some incidental characters are just carrying out their usual business with a tidal wave rushing ashore to smash the granny out of them (there's a chap reading a newspaper when the wave knocks him into next week). It begs the question whether this is down to poor direction or the visual effects team having way too much fun?