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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Deep Impact (1998)



Reviews and Comments

While a better and more plausible film than Armageddon, which was released the same summer, Deep Impact is far from impressive. Ultimately it is nothing more than a mechanical retread of the disaster movie formula, except that the disaster this time is potentially more cataclysmic than most: a comet the size of Mount Everest is on a collision course with the Earth.

An attempt is made to portray a realistic picture of what the world would be like upon discovering such news. It succeeds in spots but ultimately does not cut deeply enough. Alas, this is clearly a summer popcorn flick covering territory that could be thoughtful and dramatic in another genre. Instead, the film is distracted by the obligatory storylines of a handful of regular people in family crises. It would be more interesting if it didn't feel irrelevant: the stories aren't good enough to stand on their own, and since too much of them are told before knowledge of the comet is made known, they don't stand in support of the central theme, either.

The movie has its moments. I liked Robert Duvall's character (even though his story is fresh off the assembly line), and I liked Morgan Freeman as the President of the United States. And, yeah, I liked a lot of the special effects shots, particularly a tidal wave sweeping over Manhattan. But for a summer action movie, Deep Impact is, on the whole, surprisingly bland.