This musing is on one movie in particular, but it is a movie everyone seems to have an opinion on - and those opinions are often light years apart!
One of my favorite movies to watch when it pops up on TV (and it pops up a LOT) is the Michael Bay movie Armaggedon. Famous for starring the likes of Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, and multitudes of explosions, it is either dearly loved or hatefully reviled.
Now, I do not think you will find any people claiming that this movie should have been Oscar bait, but you WILL find people claiming it is a great movie that they love. You will also find people saying it is the worst excuse for an ELE (Extinction Level Event- name the movie THAT acronym comes from!) movie ever.
No one will dispute that the movie has errors in almost every aspect of its existence, from continuity errors to plotholes to abysmal science to sappily written dialogue. It also has charm, pathos, emotion, space flight, underdogs, evil government figures, and a cute love story shoehorned in.
As I stated earlier, I like the movie. I love the emotional goodbye from Harry to his daughter. I love the cinematography. I like several of the secondary figures (and was glad when others got killed - you figure out which ones go where), especially RockHound! I enjoyed the cheesy and stereotypical gremlins that substitute for true drama and creative writing. I love the explosions! The disaster scenes are well done and impressive. So why does this movie get so much heat? Let me try to put the finger on a few of the problems…..
Michael Bay seems to substitute explosions for plot development at every turn. There are so many disasters that the viewer can grow numb just from those scenes. The characters are as stereotypical as you can get, and as thin as the paper you would print this musing out on. It is a filmic cliché, and this movie has more clichés than any five movies. Those disaster scenes? So many and so BIG that the viewer often gets lost in what is happening. The science is really, really bad. Abysmal. "No way to suspend disbelief" bad. The writers sacrificed so much science for cheap drama that it dilutes the movie's credibility.
The main characters are...not very deep. "Shallow" is a good description of every character (with the possible exception of Liv Tyler, none of the characters ever seem to develop beyond their original appearance). And some characters are indeed just fodder to sacrifice during the movie to maintain a semblance of suspense. The actors are either underplaying or chewing scenery with little moderation.
All that being said (typed?), why do I still like to watch this every time it comes on? I honestly could not tell you. The stuff I listed as negatives are indeed the things that bugged me, but I still stop to see where in the movie we are and cheer when Harry's men finally succeed.
So for those who have watched it, I ask a simple question - what side do you fall on? I mean, honestly, is this a really, really good “BAD” movie...or a really, really bad “GOOD” movie? For those who have not, watch it with an open mind and judge for yourself.