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  • Accidental Innuendo: Harry's reaction to the crash-landing on the asteroid surface: "I blew the tranny." (Though actually referring to a vehicular transmission.)
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Lev's kookiness attributable to his having spent eighteen months alone on the space station, or might he be on the autism spectrum?
  • Anvilicious: Lots of comments are made about how pathetic our space technology is and how utterly screwed we'd be if it happened for real. Somewhat justified in that our poor ability to detect and almost total inability deal with a potential asteroid collision is sadly very much Truth in Television (albeit, nowhere near as bad to detect as this movie depicts).
    President: Dan, we didn't see this thing coming?
    Dan Truman: Our object collision budget's a million dollars. That allows us to track about 3% of the sky, and beg'n your pardon, sir, but it's a big-ass sky.
    Dan Truman: Even if the asteroid itself hits the water, it's still hitting land. It'll flash boil millions of gallons of sea water and slam into the ocean bedrock. Now if it's a Pacific Ocean impact, which we think it will be, it'll create a tidal wave 3 miles high, travel at a thousand miles an hour, covering California, and washing up in Denver. Japan's gone, Australia's wiped out. Half the world's population will be incinerated by the heat blast, and the rest will freeze to death from nuclear winter.
    Harry Stamper: And this is the best that you c - that the-The Government, the U.S. government can come up with? I mean, you-you're NASA for cryin' out loud, you put a man on the moon, you're geniuses! You-you're the guys that think this shit up! I'm sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking shit up and somebody backing them up! You're telling me you don't have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world's hope, that's what you're telling me?
    General Kimsey: We spend 250 billion dollars a year on defense. And here we are. The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun!
    Rockhound: Yeah, I remember this one. It's where the, uh, the coyote sat his ass down in a slingshot then he strapped himself to an Acme rocket. Is that - is that what we're doin' here?
    Rockhound: You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder?
  • Awesome Music:
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    • Lots of people complained about the science goofs and the plot holes. Film critics were absolutely merciless and wrote scathing reviews. But Trevor Rabin's score may have been worth the price of admission all by itself.
    • "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith definitely counts.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • The Russian cosmonaut. Also counts as an Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • The movie's physics. It's not quite accurate, but it makes for an exciting movie.
    • The Freedom and the Independence. Now those are Space Shuttles.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despised by critics, it was loved by audiences and became the highest-grossing film of 1998.
  • Critical Research Failure: There are so many scientific errors in this film that even the Lowest Common Denominator is bound to notice them. Allegedly, NASA even uses the film as part of its training program to see how many errors new recruits are able to spot. So far, they've found 168; 1.12 inaccuracies per minute.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lev and Rockhound both have some extremely fun and memorable dialogue.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A NASA doctor comments on Bear's shockingly bad cholesterol levels. Not as funny after Michael Clarke Duncan died of a heart attack in 2012.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The movie has several scenes that are uncomfortable to watch after 9/11 and the War on Terror:
      • In the first ten minutes of the film, New York is decimated by a meteorite shower. It's kind of worth mentioning that in the middle of this scene there's a cabbie that screams something with each impact: "Look at that! Whoa! We're at war! Saddam Hussein's bombing us?" Oh, the innocent irony of 1990s catastrophe films. Made even more ironic by the fact that, despite Saddam Hussein's lack of involvement in 9/11, America still ended up going back to war with him less than a decade later.
      • Speaking of 9/11, you see some of the meteor impacts leaving huge gaping holes in the original World Trade Center towers. After 9/11, those can be kinda hard to look at.
      • Not only that, but there is a shot of the meteors coming in at Lower Manhattan. One of them hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center in almost the exact location that Flight 175 struck.
      • So can the shot of screaming people plummeting directly at the camera when the Chrysler Building's top is knocked off. On 9/11, long-distance footage of WTC jumpers had aired repeatedly, until the networks heard that it was terrifying people and mercifully withdrew it.
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    • The destruction of the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Independence after the Columbia disaster, to the point that still shots of the Atlantis explosion from the film are often used as fake pictures online, claiming to be pictures of Columbia. In fact, this movie was going to be shown on TV the night the disaster occurred.
    • In the beginning of the movie, Truman mentions that NASA does not have the power to detect all incoming objects. On February 15, 2013, a previously undetected asteroid 20 meters in diameter and weighing over 10,000 tonnes exploded above Russia in the largest airburst since The Tunguska Event of 1908. Furthermore, videos of the airburst looked very similar to scenes of meteors falling in this movie.
    • The protesters asking Harry to stop drilling might've made a funny scene in 1998, but now, the ongoing threat of Climate Change and how human activity is causing the Earth's atmosphere and ecosystems to deteriorate suddenly makes their plight legitimate.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Harry being so disapproving of A.J. becomes this when you know that, in the Latin American Spanish dub of the film, Harry and A.J.'s voice actors are famous for another work in which A.J.'s voice actor's character is the one who famously has none of Harry's voice actor's character's antics.
    • Max yelling "The Cubs win the World Series!" into a microphone during his psych becomes this when the Chicago Cubs win the world series 18 years after this movie premiered.
    • All the critical wailing and gnashing of teeth about how this film was going to lead to Hollywood's destruction, and since Michael Bay was first a music video director, some claimed it would turn Hollywood into MTV. In less than two decades, MTV suffered massive Network Decay, while Hollywood still makes movies.
    • After getting arrested for the brawl in the strip club, Rockhound hits the police with "You'll be working security at Toys 'R Us!" for interfering with his upcoming NASA mission. Toys 'R Us ended up folding almost exactly twenty years after the movie's release.
  • Narm: The fact that the Armadillo drilling machines each sport not one, but two machine guns, including a chin-mounted one that AJ uses to plow his way out of the crashed shuttle. A deleted scene explains the gun used by Rockhound much later to be a "Debris Eliminator Unit". Yeah...
    • "Space Dementia".
    • "Molly Mounds", anyone?
    • The astronauts drawing straws to see who would stay behind to detonate the bomb. Even then though, the drama is played totally straight.
    • Many of the scenes at NASA may fall under this. The editing doesn't really do them any favors either.
    • Frightening as it is, many of the asteroids geological features simply don't make any sense. The presence of light, surprisingly brittle rock formations and what sounds like the asteroid roaring and moaning is sure to leave some people shaking their heads.
  • Narm Charm: The animal crackers scene. As silly as the dialogue is, it's actually kind of sweet.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Those are people falling out of the Chrysler Building during the meteor shower in New York City. For additional squick, watch the movie frame per frame. That thing that just fell on a cab's trunk, severely deforming it? Not a piece of building.
    • The fate of the Atlantis and its crew, particularly that of the astronaut working alone on repairing a nearby satellite and is clearly uneasy doing it. He sadly never makes it back to his ship and we last see him screaming as his visor is shattered and he's left tumbling into the void of space.
    • The asteroid itself is the embodiment of this. A gargantuan, hostile mass of unforeseen proportions along with thousands of meteorites following in its wake are on an imminent collision course with Earth, plagued by unpredictable geological tremors, constant gas eruptions...….As Oscar sums it up best, it is the scariest environment imaginable. The astronauts are stunned silent when they finally see this hulking monstrosity up close and personal, and the audience is every bit as horrified and in awe as they are.
    • The pilots of the Independence getting sucked into the vacuum of space, with their bodies slamming into the Freedom before tumbling into open space. Worse still, they were not sealed inside their suits but seeing how they would've had no hope of recovery, perhaps it was merciful that they didn't.
    • Every city destruction scene, but Paris in particular stands out, as it is wiped out by a single meteor that strikes with a force greater than that of a nuclear bomb. Suffice to say, it is a miracle that anybody survived the destruction.
    • Truman's description of what will happen if the asteroid hits. If it lands in the Pacific, as it's projected to, it will cause a three-mile high tsunami that will wipe out Australia, Japan, and anything in the US that's west of Denver. Half the world's population will be incinerated in the heat blast, and the other half will die in the colossal nuclear winter.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Some people were hoping the asteroid would win.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Harry's final goodbyes to Gracie and the subsequent destruction of the asteroid probably count as such.
    • The sight of the Chrysler Building's severed spire smashing into the streets below, taking every poor soul trapped inside with it.
    • And of course, the city of Paris being wiped out in a single strike.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Physical implausibilities aside, THAT is one impressive asteroid.
    • The space scenes in particular as well as the meteors themselves are also worthy of note.

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