Saturday, 9 June 2012

Deep Impact

I did enjoy a re run of Deep Impact,  one of two turn of the millennium Armageddon films. In this instance a boy, Elijah Wood (the hero Hobbit) astronomer detects an unusual object and he alerts the local  observatory which works out the discovery of a comet on its way to earth with an impact which will demolish the planet.

It is an investigative journalist who uncovers that the USA  has a master plan to send  astronauts  to board the Comet and blow it apart with nuclear devices 100 metres below its surface. This mission is led by Robert Duvall as an experienced space pilot together with a team of young and fit specially prepared crew who doubt his value and whose live  and families we learning something about before they embark on the mission.

In the meantime in case the mission is not 100% successful the USA government ( other nations have their own similar projects) has plan B which is to try and withstand any impact in an huge underground Ark like shelter for 800000 ordinary citizens selected  in a  national lottery together with 200000 preselected scientists engineers, teachers, artists, soldiers, politicians and administrators, supplies, cultural objects, and  other earth creatures.

Unfortunately the mission fails in its main purpose dividing the Comet into two pieces, the first will hit the earth creating a  flooding tsunami but not destroy the whole planet while the second and larger chunk will finish the remainder. Fortunately some for the mission led by Duval survive and elect to convert the craft with  remaining devices  into a nuclear torpedo which achieves the original purpose. One of them jokes as they hurtle to their death that they will have cities and universities renamed after them.

The journalist who uncovers what is happening and agrees to keep quiet to preserve good order is one of those chosen to survive. Her  mother is played by Venessa Redgrave and her estranged father by Maximillan Schell and these two characters add great weight to the film with their views on life and human relationships. Their daughter elects to stay with her father on the sea shore after the death of the mother in a  moving sequence. Morgan Freeman is Morgan Freeman as the President of the United States.

Another who chooses to stay is Elijah Wood who marries  his would be girl friend so she and her family will be added to the chosen list. When the time comes for departure to the underground centre the girl decides to stay with her parents when  through error they are not on the list. Elijah goes with his parents to the underground Ark only to change his mind at the last minute and returns to the city to find the girl. He arrives to find that she, her family and everyone else is attempting to get to high ground  and getting a motorcycle he amazingly manages to find her stuck in the greatest of all traffic jams. They take with them the baby sister. The rush up the nearest mountain provides the opportunity to view aspects of what happened to the Eastern seaboard. The President then addresses the nation in the ruins of New York after the worst is over and the recovery begins.

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