Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Deep Impact

UK Release: 15th May 1998
Watched on Recorded TV: Sunday 13th November 2011
Rating: 12
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 2hrs
Tagline: Oceans rise. Cities fall. Hope survives.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: As a comet is on a collision course with earth, humans have to prepare for their survival. They randomly select eight hundred thousand people to be saved in order to keep the human race alive.

My Review: The trailer above makes this film seem like an action packed thriller/disaster movie. And while the film is centered around a disaster, or an Extinction Level Event (as it’s called in the film), Deep Impact is better than that trailer. It has heart. 
Upon my first viewing a good few years ago now, I remember thinking that it had more emotion in it than a typical action, disaster movie. This stems not only from the involvement on Spielberg but perhaps its age - just when CGI was emerging. Nowadays a lot of films let the effects do all the talking. Deep Impact lets the actors, as it should be. There are many plot strands, similar to Contagion in a way, but Deep Impact makes it feel epic, with a gloss and an impact that made me want to watch it again. So despite the cliches it may have, the president for instance, it plays it in a much more clever way. The set up to the film, for example, is an investigative journalist, Jenny Lerner who is the lead in the film (played by Téa Leoni), looking into a political sex scandal. As she digs deeper she is told that it is “the biggest story in history”, and so assumes that the president may be involved. One FBI kidnap later and she’s standing in front of the president, where she finds out what really is going on. All this is preceded by some high school kids, including Elijah Wood, spotting an unknown star and then an astronomer, the only one who knows ‘the truth’ dies in a car accident before he can tell anybody. This unusual beginning grips you and even finds some humour as Jenny is told “life goes on”. Unfortunately from then on it gets a little cliche and predictable but it’s still an enjoyable watch with a warm heart. Elijah Wood is great in his break through role and Morgan Freeman just excellent as a president with a great burden on his shoulders. There are some great action sequences adding a bit of adrenaline into the mix with a team of astronauts fitting to save the human race. For a sunday night movie it’s gratifying, but never mind that, it’s Morgan Freeman - you can’t go wrong!
Score: 6.5/10

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