Deep Impact

The first of the two big budget asteroid movies in 1998, Deep Impact presents an engaging storyline with good characters that fill the screen with emotion and genuine reaction.  The storyline begins slowly while the characters to set the tone for forthcoming dramatic decisions.  The storyline gives the audience with genuine thrills instead of gratuitous violence which usually occurs in the summer movie season.

Tea Leoni stars as a news reporter who helps mother, Vanessa Redgrave, deal with her husband, Maximilian Schell, and his remarriage.  Leoni acts as the main catalyst of the action which also involves a caring U.S. president played Morgan Freeman.

Robert Duvall portrays an experienced astronaut and Elijah Wood portrays a young student.  A useless scene involving Wood at a high school auditorium could’ve been deleted without affecting the movie in any major way.  The film also could’ve boosted Redgrave’s screen time and added more depth to the relationship with daughter Leoni and husband Schell.  James Cromwell, Laura Innes and Ron Eldard (both from TV’s ER) round out the characters.

Director Mimi Leder (The Peacemaker, ER) shoots a straight forward movie without many complicated shots.  She uses her familiar back and forth tracking shots in the beginning as the news media scramble to get the big story, but later concentrates on character placement among the immense special effects.

Deep Impact has a strong story backed up with good characters who demonstrate incredible humanity in extreme circumstances.  This movie keeps the audience informed of important information slightly ahead of the characters to increase dramatic impact and involve you more in the story and characters.  More sincere and admirable filmmaking than that other meteor movie, this movie comes recommended (*** out of four stars) and is rated PG-13 for for intense disaster related elements and brief language.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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