Time: 135 mins.
DEEP IMPACT may be the winner this summer in the "asteroid hitting the Earth" movie race mainly because it'll reach the public first. ARMAGEDDON may be a better film, but I'll never know because I've already reached my disaster film quotient of the year. Besides, they basically have the same story line men being sent into space to destroy the oncoming rock which isn't the compelling part of the asteroid scenario to begin with. What grips at your heart is the human quotient: what would we do as a race if this became our reality? Though DEEP IMPACT claims to be the version that concentrates on this question, they shoot themselves in the foot with too many subplots and unnecessary characters. Why did we have to see what was happening in space when the story on the ground is the important one? The only reason that section remains in this film is to compete with ARMAGEDDON. And to give Robert Duvall something to do.
Despite it's flaws, I was touched by this film. I cried like a baby throughout. How could you not? This is a scenario that has happened to the Earth before and could happen again. That's the hook. What would you do? How would you handle yourself? What would happen to our way of life if we knew mass destruction was on the horizon? This is what DEEP IMPACT should have focused on. Instead, we're forced to watch what's happening in the world via satellite and through the eyes of an MSNBC news anchor played by Tea Leoni. (MSNBC must have made one sweetheart of a deal with the filmmakers since they are all over this movie.)
Huh? I guess they thought we'd be more comfortable watching terror on a TV screen, instead of firsthand through the eyes of characters we knew and loved. It's a horrible plot device that distances the audience from the action, making the tragedy seem like a bad sci-fi movie.To make matters worse, we have to sit through Tea's attempt at becoming a dramatic actress. She's funny and should just stick with that. She's playing an ambitious reporter, but she constantly looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Granted, she's delivering the worst news imaginable, but what happened to professionalism? This is the person who's supposed to instill calm in the general populace? The news room sequences are the most useless and painful in the entire film.