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it rocks-actually , lots of rocks fly at us or from us , in slow or fast motion , at several points in the film .
they seem like dangerous rocks because they kind of twirl through the air instead of just propelling forward , and when they land-once in a while , when we need a break from the space sequences-they cause damage enough to destroy the chrysler building and the like .
( nary a mention of these apocalyptic events is made after they occur . )
they also just might be the most interesting element of armageddon , a steroid user's answer to deep impact .
bruce willis stars as harry stamper , a famed oil-driller commissioned by the white house and nasa to stop a giant asteroid before it travels beyond " zero barrier " and destroys our planet .
why an oil driller ?
they require someone experience with deep-core mining to plant a nuclear missile into said asteroid .
( in one unintentionally ( ? )
hilarious sequence , nasa asks harry to inspect a deep-core driller they built based on his blueprints ; it is poorly constructed-harry criticizes almost every aspect of it .
we trust nasa to build space shuttles ? )
harry assembles the obligatory " ragtag " bunch of " cowboys " , including a blond guy , a fat guy , a black guy , a wiseass , and the man who is sleeping with his daughter ( affleck ) .
once they reach space , we experience sequence after sequence of something going wrong-perhaps the fact that they sent a bunch of nincompoops into outer space has something to do with it ; i cannot count the number of times they almost fail the mission on all my fingers and toes .
whether or not they save the day , i will not reveal .
nor will you care .
i will say this : you know you're in trouble when deep impact dwarfs your asteroid movie in terms of emotion and scope .
willis has barely a chance to come alive ; ditto for affleck .
their big scenes are mostly reserved for the third act , in a last minute-and futile-attempt to inject warmth into the material .
steve buscemi's character-the wiseass-is exceptionally problematic .
" rockhound " , as he's called , is sarcastic and foolish , so they tape him to a chair , where he spends most of the film .
so why did they bring him up there to begin with ?
rather , why write him into the film ? -give
his almost-witty one-liners to serious willis , who scowls and mopes and demonstrates psychotic tendencies : at one point he chases after affleck with his shotgun for screwing his daughter , firing often and causing significant damage to his oil rig .
i'm guessing he qualifies under nasa guidelines as someone unfit for space travel , at least in my world where the sky is blue .
liv tyler is pretty and humourless , as always ; suspiciously , four of her father's band's ( " aerosmith " ) songs grace the soundtrack .
director michael bay lays the visual and sound effects on thick , like ketchup , eventually drowning the movie on-screen .
( the middle hour is a non-sensical , pyrotechnic assault on the average primate's brain . )
whenever someone dies in this movie , a crew member inevitably yells out " we lost ( insert dead person's last name here ) ! "
i must admit that not once could i distinguish a dead oil-guy-cum-astronaut from a live one , and close-ups of the corpses' faces beneath cracked helmets provided little assistance , as their skin was often covered in fake blood .
armageddon is not as terrible movie as godzilla .
it looks nicer , and has fewer plot-holes within its equally ludicrous framework .
it has a vivid soundmix .
but at almost two-and-a-half hours , i could not believe how little actually happened over the course of the story .
the love story has been played up in the ads , perhaps hoping to catch people before they recover from titanic-fever .
bollocks !
the lovers in the film are miles apart throughout-erase all thoughts of nude sketching or car-sex and replace them with obligatory shots of liv tyler tearing up while ben affleck dicks around in a moon-crawler .
remember a little film called jaws ?
in this film , three independent-minded men suddenly found themselves on a fishing boat in pursuit of a deadly shark .
they didn't much like each other at first ; eventually , they started to respect one another .
one of jaws' great scenes involved the would-be-ahabs drinking and singing songs and telling stories .
this is the sort of male-bonding foreign to bay or his producer , jerry bruckheimer , who throw too many characters into the mix and expect we'll care about them on the grounds that the world is about to end .
not once do we get the feeling that these characters are even acquaintances-i'd be surprised if these actors bothered to introduce themselves to one another before " action " was called .
a male friend who loved the film suggested to me that perhaps i cannot relate to a bunch of men who don't bare their souls , who believe in dying macho concepts like heroism and a kind of chest-beating bravery .
to this , i will respond that the boys in armageddon are neither heroic , nor brave , nor smart , even : this team couldn't build a birdhouse .
and if i get no respect for disliking a movie with all the synthetic feeling of a trailer-a trailer for a movie written by a team of body-builders and greeting card authors-i've never been a prouder wimp my whole life .