Blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer ups the disaster movie ante by envisaging the destruction of the entire earth by an asteroid the size of Texas. NASA's attempt to avert global catastrophe involves sending a motley crew of oil drillers, led by Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis), into space, where they will drop a nuclear bomb into the asteroid's core. Amongst Stamper's team is A.J. (Ben Affleck), the headstrong suitor of his daughter (Liv Tyler), who waits on earth alongside NASA chief Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) for news of the mission's success.
It was in the summer of 1998 that two big blockbusters about meteors heading to earth went head to head at the box office. Deep Impact
was generally regarded as the critic’s favourite. But for audience appreciation and box office gold, it was Michael Bay’s Armageddon
that brought home the bacon. And lots of it.
It’s not hard to see why either. Armageddon throws in as many genre clichés as possible, and gets away with the vast majority of them. Thus, a great big disaster is threatening the earth, and an unsuitable mixed bag of recruits--led here by Bruce Willis’ Harry Tasker--is called up to save the day. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, explosions abound, the ensemble cast are dragged to hell and back, and mindless entertainment ensues.
What’s more, it’s mindless entertainment that looks quite brilliant in high definition. Matched by a roaring surround sound track, the picture quality of Armageddon is terrific here, with every inch of potential destruction eeked out in some style by the 1080p video transfer. The disc is, sadly, very light on extras, but its home cinema credentials are without question. Plus, whisper it: the film was, is and always will be tremendously over-the-top fun… --Jon Foster