Deep Impact (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mimi Leder|
|Produced by||David Brown
Richard D. Zanuck
|Written by||Bruce Joel Rubin
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Paul Cichocki
The Manhattan Project
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||121 minutes|
Deep Impact is a 1998 American science fiction disaster film. directed by Mimi Leder, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin, and starring Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, and Morgan Freeman. It was released by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks in the United States on May 8, 1998. The plot describes the attempts to prepare for and destroy a 7-mile wide comet, which was to collide with the Earth and cause a mass extinction.
Notably, Deep Impact was released in the same summer as a similarly-themed rival, Armageddon, which fared better at the box office. Nonetheless, Deep Impact grossed over $349 million worldwide on an $80 million production budget. Both films were similarly received by critics, with Armageddon scoring 39% and Deep Impact scoring 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.
On May 10, 1998, teenage amateur astronomer Leo Biederman (Wood) discovers an unusual object near the stars Mizar and Alcor at a star party in Richmond, Virginia with his school's astronomy club. His teacher alerts astronomer Marcus Wolf (Smith), who realizes that the object is a comet on a collision course with Earth. Wolf tries to get the information out, but dies in a car accident before he can alert the world.
A year later, MSNBC reporter Jenny Lerner (Leoni) investigates the resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury (Cromwell) and his connection to "Ellie". She discovers that Ellie is not a mistress but an acronym: "E.L.E.", for "Extinction-Level Event". Because of Lerner's investigation, President Tom Beck (Freeman) advances the announcement of the grim facts: the comet, named Wolf-Biederman, is 7 miles (11 km) long—large enough to cause a mass extinction, and possibly wipe out humanity, if it hits Earth. The United States and Russia have been secretly constructing a spacecraft, called the Messiah, in orbit. They plan to use it to transport a team that includes Captain Spurgeon Tanner (Duvall) to the comet, so that its path toward Earth can be intercepted with nuclear weapons.
After landing on the comet, the crew members plant nuclear bombs 100 meters beneath the surface. When the bombs are detonated, the ship is damaged and loses contact with Earth. Instead of being knocked off-course, the comet splits into two smaller rocks nicknamed "Biederman" (1.5 miles (2.4 km) long) and "Wolf" (6 miles (9.7 km) long), both world-threatening.
Beck announces the Messiah crew’s failure, declares martial law, and reveals that governments worldwide have been building underground shelters. The United States' shelter is in the limestone caves of Missouri. The US government conducts a lottery to select 800,000 ordinary Americans under age 50 to join 200,000 pre-selected scientists, engineers, teachers, artists, soldiers, and officials. Lerner and Leo's families are pre-selected, but Leo's girlfriend Sarah Hotchner (Sobieski) is not. Leo marries Sarah to save her family but the Hotchners are mistakenly left off the evacuee list; Sarah refuses to leave without them.
A last-ditch effort to use Earth's missile-borne nuclear weapons to deflect the two chunks of the comet fails. Leo returns home looking for Sarah, but her family has left for the Appalachian Mountains and is trapped in a traffic jam on the highway. Leo catches up to the family using a small motorcycle in the Hotchners' garage. Sarah's parents urge Leo to take Sarah and her baby brother to high ground; Sarah still does not want to abandon her parents, but they convince her to let them go. Lerner gives up her seat in the last evacuation helicopter to her friend Beth, who has a young daughter. She instead joins her estranged father (Schell) at her childhood beach house where they reconcile and remember happier times.
The Biederman fragment impacts in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, creating a megatsunami. Leo, Sarah, and her baby brother survive. Lerner, her father, Sarah's parents, and millions of other people perish as the tsunami destroys the Atlantic coasts of North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The world braces for the impact of Wolf in western Canada, which will create a cloud of dust that will block out the sun for two years. This, in turn, will destroy most life on Earth. Low on fuel and life support, the crew of the Messiah decides to undertake a suicide mission with the remaining nuclear warheads. After saying goodbye to their loved ones by video conference, the ship reaches the fragment and enters a fissure to blow itself up, which breaks Wolf into much smaller pieces that burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
President Beck, speaking to a large crowd in front of the United States Capitol building, which is undergoing reconstruction, urges the nation and the world to continue their recovery.
- Robert Duvall as Capt. Spurgeon "Fish" Tanner
- Téa Leoni as Jenny Lerner
- Elijah Wood as Leo Biederman
- Morgan Freeman as President Tom Beck
- Vanessa Redgrave as Robin Lerner
- Maximilian Schell as Jason Lerner
- Leelee Sobieski as Sarah Hotchner
- James Cromwell as Secretary Rittenhouse
- Ron Eldard as Dr. Oren Monash
- Alexander Baluev as Colonel Michail Tulchinsky
- Jon Favreau as Dr. Gus Partenza
- Laura Innes as Beth Stanley
- Mary McCormack as Andrea "Andy" Baker
- Richard Schiff as Don Biederman
- Blair Underwood as Mark Simon
- Mike O'Malley as Mike Perry
- Charles Martin Smith as Dr. Marcus Wolf
- Dougray Scott as Eric Vennekor
- Kurtwood Smith as Otis Hefter
- Denise Crosby as Vicky Hotchner
- Jason Dohring as Jason
As Deep Impact was a Paramount/DreamWorks co-production, Paramount distributed it in the USA, and DreamWorks overseas. International video distribution rights were originally with Universal Studios. Deep Impact was also the first DreamWorks film to be co-produced with another major studio.
Jenny Lerner, the character played by Tea Leoni, was originally intended to work for CNN. CNN rejected this because it would be "inappropriate." MSNBC agreed to be featured in the movie instead, seeing it as a way to gain exposure for the then-newly created network.
|Deep Impact - Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by James Horner|
|Released||May 5, 1998|
|Recorded||1997 - 1998|
|James Horner chronology|
The music for the film was composed and conducted by James Horner.
|1.||"A Distant Discovery"||3:59|
|3.||"Our Best Hope"||13:24|
|4.||"The Comet's Sunrise"||5:05|
|5.||"A National Lottery"||8:25|
|7.||"The Long Return Home"||4:43|
|10.||"The President's Speech"||4:29|
|12.||"Goodbye And Godspeed"||11:34|
Deep Impact debuted at the North American box office with $41,000,000 in ticket sales. The movie grossed $140,000,000 in North America and an additional $209,000,000 worldwide for a total gross of $349,000,000. Despite competition in the summer of 1998 from the similar Armageddon (which cost almost twice as much as Deep Impact to make), Deep Impact was still a box office hit and was the higher opener of the two. Domestically, it became the highest grossing film directed by a woman and held that record for a decade until Twilight claimed the record in 2008.
The film had a mixed critical reception. Based on 51 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 47% of critics enjoyed the film, with an average rating of 5.7/10. Metacritic gave a score of 40 based on 20 reviews. Janet Maslin of The New York Times said that the film "has a more brooding, thoughtful tone than this genre usually calls for", however Rita Kempley and Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post criticized what they saw as unemotional performances and a lack of tension for the scenario.
- "Deep Impact". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Deep Impact". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- Olthuis, Andrew. "Deep Impact". Allmovie. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- AP: MSNBC gets role in Deep Impact after CNN declines 30/4/98: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-19861267.html
- "Deep Impact (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- "Deep Impact (1998)". Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- Maslin, Janet (May 8, 1998). "Movie Review — Deep Impact". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Kempley, Rita (March 8, 2000). "'Deep Impact': C'mon Comet!". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- O'Sullivan, Michael (March 8, 2000). "High Profile, Low 'Impact'". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Deep Impact|
- Deep Impact at the Internet Movie Database
- Deep Impact at the TCM Movie Database
- Deep Impact at Box Office Mojo
- Deep Impact at AllRovi
- Deep Impact at Rotten Tomatoes