Michael Bay and disaster or destruction walk the same path, be it the literal disaster that his films depict, or the disaster that his films mostly are as a quality. If there’s a director who fits being the face of all cash-grab commercial movies, it’d be Bay. He’s a blockbuster film director with a profile almost as versatile as that of Steven Spielberg, only that most of Bay’s films are some of the least artistically authentic works you’ll ever see. A bunch of them are not really terrible, but subpar is how almost all of Bay’s films would be described.
They barely offer anything besides explosions, shallowly written characters, and unimpressive action sequences. Another example of his subpar work would be Armageddon, a science-fiction disaster film, which is almost a disaster in terms of quality.
How to Stream or Download Armageddon
To stream or to download the film, click on the Download button at the end of the review. If you like Bruce Willis, check him out also in Pulp Fiction (1994), The Sixth Sense (1999), and Glass (2019).
The Movie Review
It surrounds a universe where Earth is under great threat. A meteor shower ends up destroying the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and NASA later discovers that there’s an asteroid as large as Texas that’s about to impact Earth in only 18 days. Dan Truman, the NASA executive, devises a plan to prevent the crash by making a donut out of the asteroid.
It’s a matter of deep core oil drilling, in which astronauts are expected to drill a hole into the asteroid so deep that they could insert and detonate a nuclear bomb in it. Among the hired people for this job is Harry Stamper, an oil driller with his own oil drilling company, who agrees on the condition that his own team would do the drilling.
He picks Chick, who’s his best friend and the most trusted worker, as well as drillers Max, Fred Noonan, Bear, and A. J. Frost, who’s had quite the troubles with Harry due to dating his daughter Grace, with geologists Rockhound and Oscar assisting them.
Two-thirds of the deadline is already gone with them being trained by the grumpy astronaut Willie Sharp, who’s supposed to pilot one of the two mission shuttles. Before the mission begins, there’s some drama in the oil drillers’ personal lives.
Chick apologizes to his ex-wife for things one doesn’t even care for, and A.J.’s marriage proposal to Grace gets accepted by her. Though Michael Bay is terrible at executing suspense, the first act of this film can be considered an exception, even though only due to the premise and not the filmmaking.
But while there remains this relatively positive sense of suspense, things go south when disasters happen before the mission even begins. And while that does bring forth further suspense, it isn’t nicely told and is mostly a result of an unexpected disaster. The film strays so much from all the little positive developments that happen that it begins to mildly annoy the viewer. Michael Bay is a style-over-substance director in general, but this at least had some potential in terms of the story itself.
It has some of the most boring characters written in this particular genre. Jonathan Hensleigh and J. J. Abrams’ script fails to overcome the subpar quality of a Michael Bay film. Abrams has written and directed some of the most decent science-fiction films over time, but although Bay’s direction may have hindered his writing here, it’s easily one of the weakest showings of Abrams as a writer too.
Besides that, the film has repetitive cinematography and an original score bound not to age well. It’s surprising how Bay’s films, despite mostly focusing on the style, fail to have quality music and cinematography. All the quality goes to explosions.
The Bottom Line
Armageddon is one of the most forgettable science-fiction films of the last few decades. It’s driven to a great extent by style, but that very style is barely fashionable. The premise is the only interesting aspect, but the writing and direction collectively prevent almost any positive aspect of the film.