Deep Impact on My Funny Bone-The Most Unintentionally Funny Movie in History?
Back in the good old days before September 11th we needed movies like Deep Impact to scare the crap out of us. Ahhh, memories. Remember the good old days when we had the time to worry about giant asteroid smashing the planet to bits? Sure made for fun movies, didn't it? Interesting that it seems like there are less disaster movies than there use to be. Today when the Hollywood gods do toss a disaster pic down from Mount O'Lensus they don't always do so well anymore. But for a while there the disaster pic had its day. We had volcanoes erupting in Volcano and Dante's Peak, asteroid destroying the planet in Deep Impact and Armageddon and lets not forget the slew of what I affectionately like to call the "mini-disaster" movies like Daylight and anything with Ben Affleck, also known as "Affliction" films. Deep Impact was one of those films and it follows the time tested disaster model pretty well.
A reporter played by Tea Leoni is asked, by the President, played by Morgan Freeman to sit on the story of a lifetime, namely that a massive space rock is going to do a real number on the planet. See what happens American, elect a black President and not only does America go down the tubes, but everybody else gets it too! Damn liberals!
There is a lot of really funny stuff in this film, which simply makes it a must see. My favorite bit of social programming is that there is a massive underground complex for just such an emergency, oh but wait, its not just for the rich, no-no. There is going to be a lottery that will allow several hundred thousand average Joes to accompany the some 200,000 elites. Now, this may be the funniest thing ever put in a movie! Sure, some alcoholic truck driver from Alabama with a speed addiction and a fondness for pork rinds will be setting next to some governors wife or maybe a nuclear physicist from M.I.T. at the giant secret underground shelter. Sure. This is a unique cinematic moment for it is simultaneously the most offensive, most absurd and most hilarious moment in any movie that I can remember. Screenwriters Bruce Rubin and Michael Tolkin really knocked this one out of the park.
Oh and of course there is the usual business about saving mankind with nuclear weapons, forced boo-hoo family drama and a heaping helping of world smashing CG effects. Lealee Sobieski is super-annoying as usual and writing this review makes me thankful that we no longer have to see this acting tour de force in action. Well, at least the powers that be stopped trying to push her out there as a sex symbol. Guys have four million years of evolution ticking away inside of them in this regards. Con jobs of this type are usually pretty futile.
Do I recommend Deep Impact? Oh yeah, you bet! This has one of the most unintentionally funny bits of attempted social programming in history. Everyone involved should be at least a little ashamed, but when a movie makes millions upon millions like Deep Impact, shame doesn't enter the equation. Hey, why not a sequel.
Acting C- (One full letter grade reduction for employing Sobieski, who should have never been put on the screen. Period.)
Visuals B+ (Lots of good visuals.)
Enjoyability Grade C-/A+ (This first grade is if you take the movie seriously. The second grade is if you view it as, at least partially, an unintentional comedy.)
Home Theater/HD Factor B+
Overall Grade C-/A+ (If you are taking Deep Impact seriously, then it’s pretty silly, but if you realize that it is a masterpiece of unintentionally comedy-then you have yourself an A+ on your hands. One final thought, its never a good idea to give your big-budget Hollywood release a porn title, like Deep Impact.)