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The Earth's darkest day will be Man's finest hour. 

Year: 1998 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 (70mm) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Following on from last term's Deep Impact, Armageddon is the second of the two space object-threatens-Earth movies - only this time the planet is on collision course with an asteroid. NASA first realises something is amiss when fireballs rain down on New York sending exploding cars into the air and buildings toppling to the ground. But these, as NASA egghead Dan Truman (Thornton) explains, are just precursors 'the size of basketballs and Volkswagens', heralding the arrival of the big daddy asteroid, a piece of space rock 'roughly the size of Texas.' Firing missiles at the oncoming planet-basher won't do the job so somebody has to drill a hole in the asteroid, drop a nuclear warhead down it and blow it up from the inside.

So as the rest of the world gazes up at a colour-filtered sky and prays for the USA to save them, NASA drafts expert deep-core driller Harry Stamper (Willis) and his motley-crew of roughnecks; including square-jawed AJ (Affleck) and weasely Rockhound (Steve Buscemi). NASA then has a few weeks to turn Stamper and his team of hard-living delinquents into finely honed astronauts before they blast off to intercept - and destroy - the asteroid.

As should be expected, the special effects are excellent, especially the reconstruction of the impact that is thought to have killed the dinosaurs. Of course, no Biblical apocalypse would be complete without Charlton Heston whose dulcet tones accompany the destruction in the form of a voice-over - 'It has happened before. It will happen again.' Bay - who cut his teeth on Bad Boys and The Rock - employs a fast-cutting style that won't be to everyone's taste, but he keeps the film moving at breath-taking pace. Overall, one of the highlights of last summer's blockbusters.

Simon C. WIlliams

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Screenings of this film:

1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Autumn Term (70mm)
1999/2000 Autumn Term (70mm)
2000/2001 Spring Term (70mm)