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|
|Edited 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. Steven Spielberg served as an executive producer of this film. 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 is 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, while astronomers described Deep Impact as being more scientifically accurate. Deep Impact grossed over $349 million worldwide on an $80 million production budget.
This is the final film of cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann.
On May 10, 1998, teenage amateur astronomer Leo Beiderman (Elijah 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 (Charles Martin 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.
One year later, MSNBC journalist Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni) investigates the sudden resignation of Secretary of the Treasury Alan Rittenhouse (James Cromwell) and his connection to "Ellie." She suspects from a confrontation with Rittenhouse that Ellie is not a mistress but an acronym: "E.L.E.", for "Extinction-Level Event". On the ride back, she is intercepted by the FBI and brought before President Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman). Due to Lerner's investigation, President Beck advances the announcement of the grim facts to the media: the comet named Wolf-Beiderman (named after its discoverers Marcus Wolf and Leo Beiderman) 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 an Orion spacecraft called Messiah in orbit. They plan to use it to transport a team led by Oren Monash (Ron Eldard) and including veteran astronaut Spurgeon Tanner (Robert Duvall) to the comet, so that its path toward Earth can be intercepted with nuclear weapons. Beiderman also speaks before his town about the error where the White House had stated that he had died with Marcus Wolf.
After landing on the comet, the crew members plant nuclear bombs 300 feet (91 m) beneath the surface. While returning to the space vehicle, Monash is blinded due to direct unfiltered sunlight and suffers severe facial burns while Gus Partenza (Jon Favreau) is ejected from the surface from an outflow of gas. When the bombs are detonated the ship is damaged and the team loses contact with Earth. Instead of being knocked off-course or destroyed entirely, the comet splits into two smaller rocks nicknamed "Beiderman" (1.5 miles (2.4 km) long) and "Wolf" (6 miles (9.7 km) long), both world-threatening.
President 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 as well as two of every animal and the seeds of every plant life. Lerner and the Beiderman family are pre-selected, but Leo's girlfriend Sarah Hotchner (Leelee Sobieski) and her family are 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. President Beck reports states that the Beiderman fragment will impact the Atlantic Ocean off the waters of Cape Hatteras as he advises those in the path of the megatsunami to leave immediately. President Beck then reveals that the Wolf fragment will impact 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. 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. Lerner gives up her seat in the last evacuation helicopter to her friend Beth (Laura Innes) who has a young daughter. She joins her estranged father Jason (Maximilian Schell) at their childhood beach house where they reconcile and remember happier times.
The Beiderman fragment impacts in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Hatteras, creating a megatsunami. Lerner, Jason, Sarah's parents, and millions of others die as the tsunami destroys the Atlantic coasts of North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. The world waits for the impact of the Wolf fragment in western Canada. Low on fuel and life support, the crew of Messiah decides to undertake a suicide mission with the remaining nuclear warheads to obliterate the Wolf fragment. After saying goodbye to their loved ones by video conference, the ship reaches the Wolf fragment and enters a fissure to blow itself up, which breaks the fragment into much smaller pieces that burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Leo, Sarah, and her baby brother survive as they are among the people that escaped the megatsunami.
After the waters recede, President Beck speaks to a large crowd in front of the United States Capitol building which is undergoing reconstruction. He 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 Beiderman
- Morgan Freeman as President Tom Beck
- Vanessa Redgrave as Robin Lerner
- Maximilian Schell as Jason Lerner
- Rya Kihlstedt as Chloe
- Leelee Sobieski as Sarah Hotchner
- James Cromwell as Secretary of the Treasury Alan Rittenhouse
- Ron Eldard as Dr. Oren Monash
- Aleksandr 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 Beiderman
- 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
- Christopher Darga as Section Leader
Jenny Lerner, the character played by Téa 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.
Director Mimi Leder later explained that she would have liked to travel to other countries to incorporate additional perspectives, but that there ended up being no time or budget to allow it. Visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar felt that coverage of worldwide events would have distracted and detracted from the main characters' stories.
|Deep Impact – Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by James Horner|
|Released||May 5, 1998|
|James Horner chronology|
The music for the film was composed and conducted by James Horner. Much of the score used for Deep Impact was recycled and reused in Bicentennial Man, released the following year.
|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.
- "Disaster Movies". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- Plait, Phil (February 17, 2000). "Hollywood Does the Universe Wrong". Space.com.
- AP: MSNBC gets role in Deep Impact after CNN declines 30/4/98: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-19861267.html
- Leder, Mimi and Farrar, Scott. Audio commentary. Deep Impact DVD. Universal Studios, 2004.
- "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 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 AllMovie
- Deep Impact at Rotten Tomatoes