Movie #261 2020: Deep Impact (1998)

You’d think a movie called Deep Impact would have a… deep impact. Heh. (Spoiler: it doesn’t.)

As you’ll have probably gathered from the image above, Deep Impact is a disaster/apocalypse movie, based on the idea that a comet will one day set course for the earth, therefore obliterating every living thing on the planet. Ah, yes, that old chestnut. It’s worth noting that this movie came out the same year as Armageddon, which is about and asteroid… on course for the earth, therefore obliterating every living thing on the planet. Weird that both movies would happen within the same year, but remember the days when everyone thought that’s how the world would end and not because of some deadly virus? Yeah. Those were the days. But I digress… Deep Impact – like Armageddon – is about said disaster, and the lengths people would go to to stop it.

Honestly this feels like a brilliant cast stuck in an average film. The producers clearly just threw a hunk of cash at each of its stars, all of which actually do an okay job considering. Téa Leoni and Vanessa Redgrave are a duo I never knew I needed. Not only are they an utterly believable mother/daughter combo looks-wise, they bounce of each other just like a real mother and daughter would. Morgan Freeman is just as Morgan Freeman as ever, and Elijah Wood is… in it too. As an added bonus, this movie had a diverse cast before it was cool. 😎 Lady directors don’t get enough credit, in short. 

Not all is lost though, I’ll give it that. Personally, I thought the juxtaposition between the chaos and panic in space with the expectant silence of the people waiting at home was the best bit of the film. There’s some really good sound mixing throughout even if the music is pretty corny, but that’s exactly what you’d expect from a film such as this.

Perhaps the biggest downfall of Deep Impact is that it’s not as thrilling or gut wrenching as other space/disaster films, but it’s not bad for 1998. I’ve seen others brand it as “boring”, but there was enough action and emotional and moral dilemma for me to stay interested to be honest. It should come with an attention span warning though – it’s not always the most interesting movie throughout.

No, the CGI/visuals do not hold up and are indeed very dated. However, they’re not so terrible to the extent that they make you believe it all any less, even if there’s probably many scientific errors within the film. Without spoiling anything, there are some sequences with waves and the sea that look nice even today, and really create a sense of spectacle.

I feel like I’ve praised this film a lot in this review, but it’s actually just an okay movie. Don’t go out there thinking this is going to be the hard-hitting blockbuster that you want it to be. Even so, any world with Morgan Freeman as president (or indeed, as God), is a better one.

Deep Impact is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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