Armageddon (1998) The Director’s Cut, Now With Three More Minutes Of Heart-Pounding Sentiments And Shitty Dated Rock Music: Breakdown by Rantbo
The power of love, prayer and a windswept Old Glory give a small group of blue-collar Americans the power to save the world from a giant lion-roaring space-rock.
Assume The Position, It’s Time To Arma-Get-It-On!
Essentially, the story goes like this: An old man with a “comedically” bitchy wife spots an asteroid coming straight at Earth, he informs the NASsholes and they drudge up the salt of the American Earth to save us all by; going into outerspace, drilling a hole in the rock and dropping a nuke down it. And crying—lots and lots of crying.
Straight to the point: COMMANDO is ridiculous, but ARMAGEDDON? Re-fucking-defines it. There is actually a part in this movie where a guy hits a box with a wrench and it jump-starts a space ship. This couldn’t have been made any more silly than if Fonzie himself fist-bumped the fucking thing and said “Aaayyy!”. This movie is pure, 100% nonsensical garbage. And I’ve realized something after watching this for the first time in over 10 years—ARMAGEDDON IS TRANSFORMERS. With slightly less robots than TRANSFORMERS. Slightly… Which means that Bay has been making the exact same movie for over ten years (a real shocker, I know).
-It’s over an hour before anything happens.
-There are more special effects than ideas.
-The fucking camera NEVER stops moving, EVER.
-It’s packed to the brim with insufferable, un-funny, stupid humor, which cripples every dramatic scene, leaving it to the mercy of the composer to find a reason for us to care.
-It’s borderline racist.
-It’s arguably THE loudest fucking movie ever made. Not a minute goes by where there isn’t someone screaming, something exploding or some overbearingly cliché song blasting at full volume. Dialogue is either shouted at full volume or whispering so quietly that one can’t discern what’s being said ‘cuz the score’s too fucking loud.
-Every situation is a GIANT cock-tease toward something actually happening, thus making moments of“tension” more boring and awkward than a dentist’s waiting room.
-And finally, the last hour is THE most overtly, disgustingly sentimental, flag-waving pro-God / Conservative-American values bullshit I think I’ve ever seen.
I think it’s safe to say that you can place that MB archetype to any of his movies, and it’ll fit. Which, after pointing this out, makes ME the complete idiot for continuing to watch his films. Really, it’s all my fault at this point. I should know better. So rather than to continue pointlessly bitching about my own silly mistake, I’ll just say that ARMAGEDDON is an absolute bore of an action film and a complete waste of time. If you’re over the age of 12, avoid it at all costs.
Also, there had to be at least 8 Aerosmith tracks throughout this film and not one of them was Love In An Elevator. Man, fuck this movie and double-fuck Michael Bay.
Note: While I was typing this up, I decided to turn the commentary on for something to listen to while I worked. Big mistake…
Michael Bay starts the film out by fishing for sympathy for how LONG this movie took him and how HARD the film industry is:
“Making films—is like a war. And any movie that ever gets to the screen, it’s like you’ve won a war. It’s just NOT a glorious business.”
I ask, could this man be anymore diluted and narcissistic? “Making films—is like a war.” Really—Is that so, Michael? Lets ask some actual war veterans how much like watching their friends and family members get torn to shreds by bullets and explosions, how much like what they experienced was like making an overly-hyped, overly-budgeted, shitty movie. The commentary continues…
“There was a writer working on this sequence (the opening), he actually BEGGED me to re-write the script and he re-wrote 53 pages in 2 days and I read the script and it was—PURE SHIT.” … “I read the first 5 pages and I told him, “I walked out of the movie theater. Um, I didn’t even, you know, finish my popcorn.” I said, you’ve gotta grab the audience by the balls!”
Bay goes on to say, in so many words, how it wasn’t until the screenwriter came up with the idea to blow the opening space-shuttle up, that his ideas warranted any merit by Bay. I stopped listening right there.
This man has no business making movies. At all. He is pure evil and must be stopped by any means necessary.
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
Bruce Willis is Mr. All-Go-No-Quit-Big-Nuts Harry Stamper
Harry’s played by Bruce Willis, so that’s more badass than most characters get right there. But, I can’t help but hate Harry. And I don’t think I’ve ever HATED a Bruce Willis joint. Not even LOOK WHO’S TALKING, CHARLIE’S ANGELS 2 or THE WHOLE TEN YARDS, well—maybe that last one…
Every scene with Bruce as the object of focus is just him staring into the camera on the verge of conflicted tears. Tears are for women and men who are NOT Bruce Willis, not Bruce Willis! Honestly, the most badass thing this guy does is try to shoot Affleck with a shotgun, but even then he misses on purpose and later professes his love for him. Yuk.
“You know, drilling’s a science. It’s an art. I’m a third generation driller, doin’ it all my life. And I still haven’t got it all figured out. Now, I assume you sent for me because somebody told you I was the best. Well, I’m only the best because I work with the best. You don’t trust the men you’re working with, you’re as good as dead.”
Now, what’s weird is, it takes Willis less than a day to be taken to NASA, and I’m assuming another half of one to get the lowdown and take a look at the drill plans they stole from the patent office. He then makes a deal to help, only if he can use his own crew, all of whom were just yesterday all on a rig in the South China Sea, where they just struck oil. Yet now, everyone of them is scattered throughout the United States and have to be tracked down.
Apparently they got the oil flow under control, repaired the damage, squared everything away with their investors, booked a boat off the platform, booked flights back home, took the boat to shore, took the flights back home, got settled and went back to their respective hobbies all in a day and a half? Not to mention, Affleck’s character had time to launch his own business. Pretty fucking impressive, no? But, never the less, here are the parts that make up Stamper’s “badass” sum:
Michael Clarke Duncan is Bear The Big, Black, Gay—BEAR
Ken Hudson Campbell is Max The Fat Momma’s Boy
Steve Buscemi is Rockhound The Loudmouth Mimbo (that’s Male Bimbo)
Owen Wilson is Oscar The Redneck Owen Wilson
Will Patton is Chick The Teary-Eyed Gambler Jerk-Off
Ben Affleck is A.J. The Teary-Eyed Lovable Boyfriend Jerk-Off
Hispanic Guy is The Guy With No Backstory—or name that I can remember…
[THE BODY COUNT: A FUCKING SHITLOAD]
BAD BOYS must not have garnered much in box office receipts overseas, ‘cuz Michael Bay eviscerates Southeast Asia AND Paris. As for the AMERICANS that die, Max floats out into space, Oscar dies on asteroid impact, they never bother to show what happened to Hispanic Guy, so far as I could tell (probably because he’s Hispanic, so who cares, right?), and then Harry takes one for the team and blows himself up setting off the nuke—after a twenty-minute audience hand-job that made the skin on my brain start to chafe.
[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]
Ben Affleck’s career.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Air Force General: I’m gonna twist ya. And I’m gonna flip ya. Frap your body till your bones hurt. When you squeal, I’m just gonna go faster and harder.
Well, Bear is gay, but they made no attempt to hide that. At one point he actually strips down to his underwear (a leopard print speedo) and dances in front of his co-workers who hoot and holler like the homoerotic animals they all are. Other than that, there is just Affleck, but everyone makes believe for Arwen’s sake.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
There’s only a few women in the movie. You got; Steven Tyler’s daughter, Teary-Eyed Gambler Jerk-Off’s ex-wife (who forgives all his past transgressions after seeing him walk in slow-motion on TV) and Semi-Hot Female Astronaut Pilot. But there was no overt, or even covert misogyny that I can remember. The best I can think of is an instance where Redneck Owen Wilson asks BEAR if Semi-Hot Female Astronaut Pilot is hot or not. He looks confused (‘cuz, being a Bear, how would he know?), but nods yes before she yells at them to pay attention.
Oh, wait. Some of the guys do go to a strip club the night before they depart and The Mimbo pays a hook—um, a dancer to be his girlfriend when(if) he gets back. And I think she was Russian, so if that isn’t Michael Bay punching below the belt, I dunno what is. Asshole jack-off douche-bag.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
EP-M: Shove It Up Your Ass
Let me state, that while most every time I have or will write in this section, my usage of the term epic will be defined as “the most awesome moment, according to me”. But the word epic is not exclusive to awesome. Nope. Sometimes one uses it as an adjective to describe how truly awful, horrifying and downright disgusting something is. This is one of those times…
The Animal Cracker Scene From Armageddon
If ever there were a more nauseatingly cute, overwhelmingly fake, unrealistically sentimental scene—it has yet to top this horse-shit. They actually make the case that mankind is worth saving for all the other potential couples out there in the world who may be parading edible animals on each other’s bodies. Arrrgh!!!
In keeping with the flip-flop of describing the worst, here is by far the most stupid thing in the film, not spoken by Affleck in the aforementioned scene.
The Teary-Eyed Gambler Jerk-Off: Oh, man. What’re you doin’ with a gun in space?
God dammit, the fact that someone had to ask that question in a Sci-fi Action movie is a fucking tragedy.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Affleck can’t sing and now I can’t eat animal crackers without hating myself for it. And I fuckin’ hate Michael Bay.
[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]
[ ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[ ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)**
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)***
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice
*There’s an oil rig. Close enough for me.
**Not a finishing move, per-say, but this is a Michael Bay film, so there’s about an hour of unnecessary slow-motion. I’m counting it.
***This movie was 2 ½ hours long, with only about 30 minutes of any real plot. I’m checking this off for me.
He’s Got SPACE DEMENTIA!
Armageddon (1988) © MCMXCVIII Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. and The Criterion Collection