Armageddon Essay

4482 Words18 Pages

In 1998, Touchstone Pictures released Armaggedon, the most recent in a premillenial barrage of films focused on the end of the world. The film included a trendy Hollywood cast, headlined by Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Ben Affleck, and was directed by Michael Bay, whose previous film credits included the 1996 top ten hit, The Rock. Although Armageddon received nods from the Academy of Motion Pictures for Best Effects (Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects), Best Music (Song), and Best Sound, film critics were not so enthusiastic. On average, Armageddon received 1½ to two stars. The American public, on the other hand, made Armageddon the second most profitable film of 1998, exceeding its "sister" film, Deep
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Nevertheless, the team miraculously reaches target depth only a few minutes before the asteroid reaches zero barrier. However, because the remote signal was destroyed during an unpredictable mishap on the asteroid’s surface, someone must be left behind to manually detonate the bomb. In a final act of heroism, Harry arranges to be the last one left. As the space shuttle flies away, Harry pushes the button, saving the earth but sacrificing himself. On earth, humanity rejoices as its destruction has been circumvented.

Background of the film

Armageddon was not created as a whimsical fantasy of Hollywood masterminds. In fact, its basic premise stems from a distinct historical event. In 1994, for the first time in the history of humankind, scientists were able to witness in detail the collision of two solar system bodies. Having circled Jupiter in an enclosing elliptical pattern for what scientists speculate to be hundreds of years, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was wrenched out of its orbit by Jupiter’s gravity and into a collision course with the planet’s dense atmosphere. This collision produced "bubble[s] of superheated gas that blazed with 50 times the infrared luminosity of the entire planet, briefly blinding some telescopes." Comet fragments pounded Jupiter at an estimated speed of 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles an hour), and although the largest fragments measured no more
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