1st January 2000
The opening scenes show NASA finding out about the impending arrival of an unwanted visitor. An asteroid the size of Texas is coming for tea. But it will be gate crashing the party big style. There is only one way to save the planet (isn't there always only one way?). Blow the asteroid apart with a well-placed nuclear warhead.
One slight problem, the warhead has to be very well-placed. So well-placed in fact, it will need to be taken to the asteroid and put inside a large hole drilled deep inside its core. That's where our heroes come in. Harry Stamper is the owner of a renowned oil-drilling company, currently working in the South China sea.
The US Navy is sent on a mission to fetch him, because he's 'the best', and the only one who can drill into this asteroid. A crack team of astronauts is created to help Harry in his mission, but Harry doesn't like them. They're astronauts, not drillers. The FBI is sent out to bring Harry's drilling team.
Harry's crew is divided in two, one led by Harry, and the other by A.J. Frost (Harry's right hand man). They are put aboard two shuttles, which lift off and rendezvous with a Russian space station for refueling. After a slingshot around the moon, they rendezvous with the asteroid, but the debris field in the asteroid's tail causes the shuttle containing A.J.'s team to crash onto the asteroid, killing most of those aboard.
Only three survive. These three set off towards a locator beacon on the other shuttle, in a mobile drilling truck. Meanwhile, the other shuttle lands safely and starts to drill. They have to get 800 feet down, but after only 10 feet, the drill head breaks...
There's lots more tension-getting events, but I don't want to spoil the show completely. Being an American movie, there has to be a happy ending, with the guy (AJ) getting the girl (Grace), and mankind being saved for the next disaster.
I was impressed by most of the special effects, less so by the low-gravity scenes, where there was plenty of gravity apparent. One other thing, I know that you've got to remove some belief, but I don't buy things burning in near vacuum. There's no oxygen. Overall I liked the film, a well thought out and (almost) believable plot, with some very real characters. Bruce Willis is saving the world again (you'd think he might be bored by now).
After having watched The Mummy, with its plethora of extras, I was very disappointed to find nothing on this disk. The producers may say that the extra language support (English, German and French), and subtitles (English, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek, Icelandic, Croatian, Polish, Hungarian, German) take up plenty of space, but I think that's a lame excuse.
- None. Squat. Naho. Niets.