Sunday, August 11, 2019

"Deep Impact" (1998) simulates what happens if a comet hits the ocean, but also poses a "political" question



Deep Impact” (1998, dir. Mimi Leder, from Paramount and Dreamworks) dramatizes what happens to western civilization when the Earth is hit by a comet (not an asteroid, which was “Armageddon”, a different review).


In fact, the comet had been discovered by a high school student and the whole matter is uncovered by a sleuthy journalist in the first half of the movie.

Comets pose somewhat different risks to Earth from asteroids or very large meteors.


The scene where the comet hits the Atlantic ocean is impressive, and a 1000-foot high tsunami knocks down all the skyscrapers in Manhattan.

But the film is also noteworthy because there is a lottery to determine who will be sheltered underground to survive the event and restart America.  People get a simple phone call inviting them to the shelter.

The idea might be unacceptable today if people were chosen based on some characteristic (given the political climate today).  But a film where people are on an escape vehicle going to another planet and are hand selected can have that political objection (previous review).

Morgan Freeman plays a “black” president and nobody thought anything of it in 1998.

I originally saw the film in the General Cinema (now AMC) in the Mall of America in Minnesota.

James Horner supplies the music score.

NASA “Deep Impact” gif of a comet landing, public domain, Wikipedia reference. 

See also review of cable film “Impact”, June 9, 2009 on cf blog.

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