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Deep Impact




Rated PG-13 - for intense disaster related elements and brief language.

Director: Mimi Leder
Starring: Téa Leoni, Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobieski, Jon Favreau
Running Time: 2 hours
Theatrical Release Date: May 8, 1998
4K UHD Release Date: May 2, 2023 (Amazon.com)


READER RATING:   


Plot Summary

A comet is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. As doomsday nears, the human race prepares for the worst. (from IMDb)


Film Review

Deep Impact has received a lot of mixed reviews, and for good reasons. The movie has its good moments, but it's also straight-up slow and almost boring at times. There are a lot of characters in Deep Impact to keep track of, with far too little character development for many of them. But from pretty intense scenes of destruction, to completely sad and tear-jerking moments, Deep Impact's biggest "impact" is on the viewer's heart.


Deep Impact shows you the family/loved-one loss that Titanic failed to show. Here, husbands and wives who are thinly developed in the film, are torn apart or simply die together, in a completely helpless situation. Now I'm not dissing Titanic here, but I am bringing up the point I've heard adults make that Titanic focused a little too much on two young lovers who just met, and not enough on the families who had been together for years and years who must now leave each other forever. Deep Impact doesn't focus just on the youth nearly as much, but focuses on the married as well.

One interesting thing is that, when the president is making his speech, he confesses he believes in God, and basically quotes Numbers 6, blessing the United States. I was pleasantly surprised by that. And at the end, another pro-Christianity comment is made. But another symbolic trait in the movie is the ship that is the hero of the film is purposefully named "The Messiah." All this presents one question in my mind: But with all these references... why all the blasphemy?


As far as the content goes, there is no shedding of blood in this movie (save for one scrape on a person's forehead). The only blood/gore factor worth mentioning is that an astronaut's face gets burned and blisters a bit, but it isn't anything really disgusting visually. The language is rather disappointing, though. There is at least one definite "F" word used early on and 2 possible other ones that aren't too clear (one could have been "muck"). There are also about 16 uses of blasphemy, another flaw in every movie nowadays that just really irks me. And while there is no sexual content, a kid in Leo's school calls out during a school assembly to Leo, "You know, you're going to have sex a lot more than anyone else now!" They present it jokingly, but it almost sounds like some kind of endorsement for high school sex.

For me, the best part of the movie is the ending where the comet hits and there's lots of special effects and destruction. I guess I'm just a fan of special effects. I don't highly recommend the film, but it is a decent flick for the most part, although I'd go through the content carefully before recommending anyone go see it.

- John DiBiase (reviewed: 5/11/98; edited 5/1/23)

 

4K UHD Review



It's a trip to think that it's been 25 years since I saw Deep Impact in the theater, and reviewed the movie as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. When I was given the opportunity to revisit the film for its 4K release, I thought it'd be fun to rewatch the movie through the eyes of an adult - specifically now as a husband and father - as opposed to when I first saw it as a high school student (and near high school graduate).

I've gone through and cleaned up my original review a bit, but my initial rating 25 years ago was 2 out of 5 stars. Obviously, that's pretty bleak, but since rewatching the movie, I decided to bump it up to 3 out of 5 stars because, let's face it, there are worse movies out there. Also, as an adult, I can appreciate what Deep Impact tries to do a little better. It's more about relationships and what we're to do with our time here on Earth while we have it, than it is about entertaining teenagers with special effects. Yeah, sure, it delivers on those Independence Day-scale disaster images, but it's all left for some of the movie's final moments instead of having it sprinkled throughout the whole movie.


In the movie, Téa Leoni's character, Jenny, is basically the central character. She's a reporter who is single and trying to get ahead in her career. Meanwhile, her parents are divorced and she's struggling to accept the fact that her father just married a woman closer to her age than her mom's. In the midst of her personal drama, Jenny discovers that the country has been preparing for an "Extinction Level Event" while she was investigating what she thought was actually a political affair scandal. Elsewhere in the country, Elijah Wood plays a teenager named Leo who discovers the asteroid that is hurtling toward our planet. His circle of characters include his parents, his girlfriend Sarah, and her parents -- and they're all relatively dull characters. The third set of characters involves a team of astronauts who lead an exbition into space to try to stop the asteroid. Unfortunately, none of these characters are given much depth, to the point where, when serious things inevitably happen to them, it's tough to really care. While the astronaut characters probably have the most charm and personality of all of the characters in the movie, they're still not given enough of a focus to make much of a lasting impression. I was impressed by how, in the 2020 disaster film, Greenland - which is also about asteroids hitting our planet - the story focused on just one family. This allowed the viewers to get invested in the family's story. By Deep Impact splitting the screentime with so many varied characters, there just isn't enough time spent on any one of them to really care. The pace is kept brisk enough to keep the story moving, but these are tough characters to get close to, and I think this definitely wounds the movie's end result.

I have to say, I was super impressed by the quality of the 4K transfer. Being a late 90's movie, it definitely falls prey to 90's special effects (the water / wave effects are pretty shoddy by today's standards), but the rest of the picture is quite crisp, clear, and colorful. Man, when these studios take the time to remaster these older movies, the movies can really get a brand new life altogether.

This 4K set includes the 4K disc, which just features the film in 4K, the previous Blu-Ray release of the movie with the special features previously released on it, and a digital 4K copy of the movie. Unfortunately, the digital copy is ONLY for VUDU.

I enjoyed revisiting Deep Impact and giving it another chance. It still comes up short in a lot of ways, but it's hardly a complete loss. The acting is decent, James Horner's score sounds like a companion to his work on Titanic the year before, and the movie avoids the painful campy feel of a Roland Emmerich disaster outing. If you like your disaster movies a bit more on the serious side, there's a chance Deep Impact is right up your alley.

- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 5/1/23)

 

Parental Guide: Content Summary


. Sex/Nudity: We hear talk of a man having an affair as Jenny interviews people; A woman complains about a man's womanizing ways; Because of his celebrity status, a student tells Leo he's going to have sex more than anyone now. And then he says famous people always have more sex.
. Vulgarity/Language: 1 "f" word (and maybe 2 others), 6 "s" words, 4 "g*dd*mn," 3 S.O.B.'s, 8 h*ll, 2 d*mn, 1 "a" word, 5 "Oh G-d," 2 "Oh my G-d," 1 "J-sus," 1 "J-sus Chr-st," 1 "Oh Chr-st," 2 "Chr-st," 2 "cr*p," 1 "Sweet mother of G-d," 1 "b*stard"
. Alcohol/Drugs: Jenny and her mom have drinks while dining; Jenny guzzles a martini
. Blood/Gore: The face of one of the astronauts is burned by the sun and we see his face reddened with blisters on it; We later see his face again while it's in a state of healing and there are some red marks around his eyes; Sarah is briefly seen with a small bloody cut on her forehead.
. Violence: A car hits a tractor trailor and goes over cliff and blows up; A car bumps another on the road to get them to pull over; Small asteroids bounce off the spaceship in space; An astronaut's face burns and he screams in pain; The sun causes the asteroid to heat up. Pockets of air shoot up from the surface. One of them blows one of the astronauts into space (where he inevitably will die); An explosion wave hits the spaceship; We see some footage of rioting and protesting on TV; Some military officials hold people back at gate checkpoints; An asteroid hits the Earth and we see a gigantic wave take out oil rigs, New York City, some people standing on a beach, various buildings, and more; We see people getting hit by water while running away; There's an explosion in space (which kills some people).

 

Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.

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