Armageddon

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(1998) ★★★★

Sky Movies Action/Adventure: Saturday 5 September, 8.15am and 8pm

Bruce Willis leads his disreputable oil-drilling roughnecks into orbit around the Moon in a desperate attempt to deflect a giant asteroid from its collision course with Earth. The end won’t be nigh enough for anyone with sensitive ears – this sci-fi action blockbuster sets new decibel records as it bludgeons the senses with sound and fury. For all its excess and extravagance, it’s an exciting ride, full of flaky humour and eye-searing effects. Steve Buscemi sets the flippant tone by realising that it’s a suicidal, Dirty Dozen-ish mission, taking a loan shark for $100,000 and blowing it on liquor and lap-dancers.

No wonder Pentagon officer Keith David is unimpressed with Willi’s crew: “A bunch of retards I wouldn’t trust with a potato gun.” Bottle Rocket’s Owen Wilson is another team member who keeps making unhelpful (but funny) observations as time runs out for a planet that’s already lost Paris, Shanghai and most of New York City to lethal meteor showers. Through it all Willis keeps a straight face, reminding you that not all screen heroes could carry such a big, blustering action picture. Billy Bob Thornton’s good, too, as the Nasa executive sweating it out in Houston.

This time, they really do they have a problem: “If word got out, there’d be panic – basically the worst parts of the Bible.” Michael Bay proved with Bad Boys and The Rock that he’s no slouch when it comes to staging spectacular action sequences and although Armageddon could be dismissed as nothing more a super-slick piece of popcorn mayhem, there’s no doubt that he can also marshal complex visual material into a coherent whole. It’s a talent not be sniffed at, even if occasionally he overdoes the ad agency gloss. A trait he’d succumb to entirely with the Transformers franchise. Here, he still had a modicum of discernment: that’s ZZ Top’s La Grange sprucing up the soundtrack.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 151min

IMDB – Armageddon

TMDB – Armageddon

Rotten Tomatoes – Armageddon

Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Movies Action/Adventure Thursday, 10 September at 10:10AM
Sky Movies Action/Adventure Thursday, 10 September at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Greats Monday, 14 September at 11:30AM
Sky Movies Greats Monday, 14 September at 8:00PM