ARMAGEDDON: End of the World -- Or Best of the Summer?
 - By Bill Miller -

If Mother Nature's evil twin, El Nino, sends you to the theater to escape these torrid temperatures, put "Armageddon" on your list.  Love it or hate it, this PG-13 thriller is a must-see.  The intense emotion, created by Jerry Bruckheimer, grabbed me from the opening scene and carried me throughout.  

I loved it.

Doesn't it seem like many veteran movie critics never give five stars?  To me, a rookie reviewer, if you would tell your friends it's an excellent movie, why not tell your readers?  

"Armageddon" is excellent and deserves a five star rating. 

A movie is meant to entertain and provide a two-hour escape from everyday life.  Thanks to the imagination and creativity of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay, this one does.  

Though similar, the movie "Deep Impact" focused primarily on the emotions and preparation associated with the possible end of civilization as we know it.  "Armageddon" is an all-out action flick with camaraderie, guts, and worldly patriotism surrounding the actions of a courageous crew who fight to prevent the end of the world.

WARNING:  If you have a heart condition, or sensitive ears -- enter at your own risk!  This movie contains explosive special effects and a booming sound track -- an adrenaline lover's delight.  "Armageddon" is one of the most intense PG-13 movies since "Days of Thunder" (1990), which is not-so-coincidentally also a Jerry Bruckheimer production.  Bruckheimer and Bay are the dynamic duo responsible for "The Rock," a summer smash of 1996. 

A dire situation presents itself as a 'global killer' threatens mankind.  No, it's not MTV, it's an asteroid the size of Texas streaking towards earth at 22,500 miles per hour.  Impact would equal the power of 10,000 nuclear warheads -- nothing would survive, not even bacteria.

NASA officials determine the only way to neutralize the threat is to bore a hole into the mass and explode it from the inside.  Under orders from the president, NASA executive director Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton), calls upon Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis).  A 3rd generation oil-driller, Stamper is regarded as the best in the business.  The battle to save mankind, becomes a race against time as there are only twelve days to get Harry, A.J., Rockhound, Chick, (Willis, Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton) and company trained, outfitted, and launched into space.  This motley crew of roughnecks-turned-astronauts are the world's only hope to prevent Armageddon.

The character of Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) adds an emotional sincerity to the film.  Grace, daughter of Harry and fiancee to crewman A.J. Frost (Affleck), tugs at the heart strings of audience members as she watches her family and future journey into the unknown.

Will this be "Earth's darkest day or man's finest hour?"  

Find out and enjoy the journey.  Five stars.

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