Deep Impact makes no apologies for being a sob-fest. I mean, how else do you smash a comet into the earth without killing off a few hundred million people, and breaking a few hearts in the process? As the first disaster-from-space film of the year, Deep Impact sets the bar at an interesting level. It's not an action film, although it has action elements. It's not a thriller, although suspense is in the mix. It's more a drama than anything else, the main story lines being a reporter (Téa Leoni) estranged from her father, a young astronomer (Wood) who finds he can't abandon his girlfriend, and a codgery astronaut (Robert Duvall) who gains acceptance among a younger crew.
Against the backdrop of a giant comet en route to the planet, it's a surprise that there are so many lulls in the story where there's little to do but check your watch. Still, ER veteran Mimi Leder directs the action with sufficient flair to keep you interested and keep those Kleenex in action.
I'm not immune. Once you get past the urge to dismiss the whole shebang as an unlikely bit of Hollywood trickery, there are so many sacrifices in the film from so many characters... even a cynic like me can get a bit teary-eyed.
Overall, it's a refreshing change of pace from the big budget extravangzas that Tinseltown regularly trots out.
The new special collector's edition DVD includes a commentary track from Leder and her special effects guy, plus three short featurettes about the making of the film. The "creating the perfect traffic jam" is an amazingly instructive vignette on parking 2,100 non-CGI automobiles.
More impact than a kick in the pants!
Run time: 120 mins
In Theaters: Friday 8th May 1998
Box Office Worldwide: $140.5M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Zanuck/Brown Productions, Manhattan Project
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 27
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Mimi Leder
Starring: Robert Duvall as Capt. Spurgeon 'Fish' Tanner, Téa Leoni as Jenny Lerner, Elijah Wood as Leo Biederman, Vanessa Redgrave as Robin Lerner, Morgan Freeman as President Tom Beck, Maximilian Schell as Jason Lerner, Leelee Sobieski as Sarah Hotchner, James Cromwell as Alan Rittenhouse, Jon Favreau as Gus Partenza, Laura Innes as Beth Stanley, Mary McCormack as Andrea Baker, Richard Schiff as Don Biederman, Blair Underwood as Mark Simon, Charles Martin Smith as Dr. Marcus Wolf (uncredited), Una Damon as Marianne Duclos, Dougray Scott as Eric Vennekor, Derek de Lint as Theo Van Sertema, Suzy Nakamura as Jenny's Assistant, Alimi Ballard as Bobby Rhue, W. Earl Brown as McCloud, Denise Crosby as Vicky Hotchner, Jason Dohring as Jason