Movie Review: Deep Impact (1998)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1998 drama starring Robert Duvall and Elijah Wood.

Synopsis: When scientists discover a 7-mile-wide comet is on a direct collision course with Earth, the world's leaders devise a plan to destroy it before it strikes the planet. However, when the plan fails and, instead, results in two separate but still large pieces, plans are forced to change as Earth's leaders look to save only a small portion of the population.


I came across this movie on Netflix a couple days ago and, realizing I had never actually taken the time to watch it, decided to do so over the course of a couple lunches. I had some doubts about it when I started watching the film. But, as it turns out, it was considerably better than I thought it would be.

I have seen a similar movie, "Armageddon", on more than one occasion and figured, based mostly on the fact the films came out at roughly the same time, this would be almost identical to that one. As it turns out, while the movies share some similar traits, this one did have some noticeable differences, including some that I found I really liked.

One thing, in particular, that surprised me about this film was the way it managed to toy with my emotions. The movie does a great job of giving the various players life and, because of that, it's easy to feel bad for them when all hope seems to be lost.

In fact, when things went from bad to worse and it looked like it was only a matter of time before the planet was destroyed, I actually felt myself getting pretty bummed out. Watching main characters deciding to die while others were forced to say goodbye to their children and other loved ones was actually pretty sobering because even if someone did manage to save the day at the last second, the end result was still going to be the loss of many lives.

Probably my only real complaint about the movie was the President of the United States (Freeman) because, while I think he did OK given the circumstances, I was a little disappointed he never really did anything heroic.

At minimum, it would have been nice to see him publicly decide to stay in the White House and face imminent destruction with everyone else rather than taking his place as one of the chosen few who were going to be saved. I kept waiting for that moment and it never came.

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In DEEP IMPACT, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood), joins a field study for his high school's Astronomy Club and discovers a new comet that unfortunately is headed for Earth. While sci...

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Final Opinion

This was a surprisingly good movie and I'm disappointed it took me so long to watch it. If you haven't seen it, I do recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/31/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/19/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here has this film. It interests me because the catalogue lists Rubert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell as acting in it. Schell would be a great candidate for a less self-absorbed, more heroic president.

Was there no Plan B ever in effect when they were instituting Plan A to divert the comet?

Judy on 04/21/2016

We just watched this the other night after not seeing it for a long time!

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