Sunday, June 29, 2014

Armageddon 15 Years Later
I did a brief review for Hollywood Jesus some 13 years ago for the movie Armageddon after it first came out on DVD. I focused then on the powerful relationship between the father and daughter but now, on the 15 year anniversary of the film I have watched the film again and realized, the themes are just as powerful as ever. 

Armageddon is a film that is self described in its title. An all star cast in the special effects laden flick features the upcoming likely demise of the earth by a giant asteroid. A rag tag group of astronauts and others are brought together by NASA to help make a last ditch effort to save the earth before being struck by the asteroid. There are multitudes of stars from Liv Tyler, to Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis to Ben Affleck. While many were critical of the film when initially released, I found it then and still do, very entertaining and quite emotional. Just as the film caused me to reflect on family, loved ones and the willingness to sacrifice for those loved the first time I saw it, it still maintains those emotions for me all these years later. 

Armageddon is directed by the king of the Summer Blockbuster, Michael Bay and is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It seems as if Bay has a way of directing movies that gets blasted by many critics yet loved enough by fans to have them flocking to the theaters. Armageddon was in fact the 2nd highest grossing film of 1998 right behind Saving Private Ryan. It has everything Summer audiences seem to enjoy, the potential destruction of the earth, lots of special effects and a love story that involves sacrifice and salvation. The formula has worked well for Bay in many of his films. 

www.thekeystonekid.comThe special effects for Armageddon are spectacular but as good as they are, there was something else special about the movie, something that touches the soul. There is a story of the love between a father and daughter and the willingness of the father to make a sacrifice not just for his daughter but the world around him. In that sacrifice he thinks and knows what is important. While he is willing to sacrifice for others, he also understands that his daughter has a special place in his heart. It is the thing many critics seemed to make fun of, even ribbed the movie for but it got to me as I think about the sacrifices for the ones I love as it would most any parent watching the movie.

Another theme addressed in many movies of the summer as in Armageddon is the  potential destruction of the earth. It seems as if people are always thinking about the end of the world. How will the world end? Will it be an asteroid, drastic changes in weather, or even a giant monster from the ocean or a virus from outer space? For many Christians this is due to our beliefs from the Bible. Is it close to the time to the end happening? While these may be appropriate questions, Armageddon the  movie also does a good job at addressing and making sure we address and observe important factors in this scenario.  It causes the viewer to take into consideration not just the future but the present. What about the relationships we have with family, friends, coworkers, etc...? Are we doing our best to make sure we enjoy and thrive on life while at the same time, making a significant difference now? As I have gotten older, these themes still resonate and the desire to love has grown over the last 15 years, thus driving my own mortality even more home.  Movies like Armageddon can actually contribute, inspire and move people towards a better life, not just for themselves, but those around them. Armageddon illustrates limits on life and none of us are guaranteed of tomorrow. At the end of life on this planet, hopefully we have made a difference and those around us will know of our love and sacrifice for them. 

www.mosaicwichita.comArmageddon is one of those movies that when I first saw it I was a little more critical of than I should have been. There are other movies over the years I rated higher that I tire of but that has not been the case with Armageddon. Even in the case of that years bigger movie, Saving Private Ryan, I gave a better, more critically praised review, but truth is, I have only seen that movie twice in the last 15 years. Armageddon though has caught my eye at least 5 or 6 times. I think it is one of those movies many can relate to. If looking for a good, enjoyable, thought provoking, tear jerker of a movie Armageddon is a good reminder of one that the audiences loved despite what the critics say. It is one that moves the audiences to contemplate those they share the earth with and for this father, thinking back on his daughter over the last 15 years to need a tissue to wipe some of those dust mites away in his eyes that cause a tear or two.  

To see the movie trailer for Armageddon, click on the following video if the video link does not work, click on the following link:

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