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Armageddon

Director:Michael Bay
Writers:Jonathan Hensleigh and J.J. Abrams
Director of Photography:John Schwartzman
Editors:Mark Goldblatt, Chris Lebenzon and Glen Scantlebury
Music:Trevor Rabin
Production Designer:Michael White
Producers:Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd and Michael Bay
Touchstone Pictures; PG-13; 144 minutes
Release:7/98
Cast:Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Keith David, Chris Ellis, Jason Isaacs, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi and Charlton Heston.

In the summer's “other” end-of-the-world action flick (released hot on the heels of Deep Impact), a meteor the size of Texas is headed straight for earth (much like Deep Impact). More frightening than this hurtling asteroid is the space team selected to save the planet. Harry S. Stamper (Willis) leads the motley crew of oil riggers enlisted to drill a hole in the mother-of-all-asteroids and blow it to bits with a nuclear bomb. Willis muscles his way through the story's more heroic moments with zero substance, delivering inspirational one-liners that are laughable. Good thing there's plenty of cued music to let you know when the big, meaningful moments happen. The love story between NASA recruit A.J. Frost (Affleck) and Stamper's daughter (Tyler) goes over with about as much grace and subtlety as...well, a rock thumping to earth at a gazillion miles an hour. Thornton, as a straight-talking scientist, gives the strongest performance, and Buscemi, a member of the rag-tag mission, provides some mild comic relief. But Bay's rapid MTV-style cuts rob the entire movie of any real scenes, making it tough for talented cast members to do their thing.


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