I'm sure that everyone has gathered the basic plot of this movie by now. It's not all that difficult -- Big Asteroid Come. Hit Earth. Life Go Bye-Bye. To my surprise, Armageddon is slightly more complex than that.
It's a pretty long movie, about three hours of viewing time spanning about 18 days (give or take 65 million years, if you count the flashback that introduces the film), and the first half of that is spent on character development. As such, I shall take a moment to look at them as well. Why not? You already KNOW the basic plot, I've gotta talk about SOMETHING in this review.
Leading the cast we have the ever-charismatic Bruce Willis as Harry, an expert driller and overprotective, gun-toting father, determined to protect his daughter-whose-name-I-forget from one of his crew, A.J., a rather thinly veiled representation of Harry in his younger days. This triad form the nexus of the film's characters.
The rest of Harry's gang consists of: Rockhound (Ben Anflack), so named for his ... overly hormonal tendencies, who is a conveniently brilliant genius slacker and essentially the comic relief of the film. Bear is your token black guy, and you can imagine from his name what his appearance must be like. Max is your token FAT guy, also there predominently for comic relief. I'll be damned if I can remember the rest of their names now, but they're a pair of blonds, one being the young and enthusiastic kid, the other the loyal-to-the-death one.
Also of note is Billy Bob Thornton's character whose name I ALSO can't recall at the moment (damn! Too much aspartame!), a rather likable and almost sympathetic head of NASA.
And you know, I'm utterly at a loss for what else to say on the film. It's not that I didn't enjoy it - quite the contrary, it was a very enjoyable three hours. Just that, as with many action movies, there's not a whole heck of a lot to say, not without revealing more details about the movie than you'd probably like to know. The plot moved along nicely, and I only felt as though it was dragging slightly towards the end (which was, I assume, supposed to be suspenseful, but I felt more like saying "Okay, guys, I know the earth is going to be saved, let's just get on with it." Although maybe that was the Diet Coke I'd had two and a half hours back talking to my bladder, I dunno).
The effects were pretty good (particularly the destruction of Paris, now THAT was awesome), and I had to chuckle at a scene early in the beginning of the movie ... This ugly little dog goes mad, chewing up a street vendor's collection of Godzilla toys that he's selling, a nice jab at what was obviously considered to be a summer boxoffice rival. (Right before the movie ALSO destroys a fairly large section of New York, seems to be a trend.)
Overall, Armageddon seems to be stuck somewhere between two catagories. It's both a drama and an action film, and while it seems to be able to blend the two of them fairly well, it sacrifices its ability to stand out amoung the best in either genre. It's an okay movie, but not a great one; the end of the world is a nice little time waster, though.