“I wish. I wish the Man In The Moon for health and happiness and laughter soon.
From morning to night He sleeps so bright. He’s always there, The Man In The Moon.”
The world is watching one of the most spectacular meteor showers in 10,000 years. Unfortunately, it is discovered too late that a rather large 19 kilometer chunk is headed directly for the moon. When it impacts, the asteroid takes a pretty good chunk of the moon away. The result is disastrous to Earth. Sudden electrical pulses and spots where gravity gets turned off create havoc on the planet. An international team of experts is assembled to study and deal with the event. The team is headed by Dr. Maddie Rhodes (Henstridge). She’s the one who has the unenviable job of advising the President. The team includes Alex Kittner (Elliott) who was a colleague at NASA with Rhodes. He has recently lost his wife and is caring for his two young children and an agoraphobic father (Cromwell). The team’s lunar expert is Roland Emerson (Sadler), who has just gotten engaged. The team can’t seem to get their information straight, and the results seem to go against every one of their predictions. That is, until they discover that the asteroid that struck the moon was a super dense piece of a brown dwarf, a dead star. With that information they discover that the moon will strike the Earth in 39 days unless they can stop it. Of course the military guys think blowing it up is the best solution, and of course, their plan fails. Now the only way to stop it is for Alex and Roland to actually go to the moon and create a precise reaction to expel the heavy matter from the satellite.
The film uses a ton of filler to get itself to the requisite 3 hours for a mini-series. We have a handful of side stories about those close to the team that really add very little to the experience. The acting is pretty substandard for some thespians who are known for better work. The problem is that we never get full dimensional characters. It doesn’t help that the situations are totally ridiculous here. Just about everybody here is pretty forgettable.
One of my biggest pet peeves with Hollywood is the seeming lack of originality that has been rampant for far too long now. Everywhere we look it’s remake/reboot/reimagine, or it’s sequels, or it’s an idea that has already been done to death. I’m not saying that there aren’t very good, or at least entertaining films from time to time that fall into these categories. Of course, there are. But more often than not we get something that lacks any kind of originality at all. It fails to entertain. And why is it that some of these things run so God awful long?
Then there’s the science fiction film that treats the audience like we’re complete idiots. They just assume we’re entertainment hungry rubes that we’ll just eat up anything they throw at us no matter how bad the science happens to be. Like any fan, I’m pretty good at suspending my belief for a good film. Just tell me it’s so, and I’ll believe that starships can traverse grand distances in the blink of an eye. Say it, and I’ll cringe from the most unlikely of creatures and beings. Warn me, and I’ll get ready to defend my planet from all sorts of alien invader scum. All I ask is that you at least ground the thing as much as you can in some underlying realism.
Those are two of my biggest complaints, and wouldn’t you know it, Impact breaks both of my rules. If you don’t think the idea of something making impact with the earth hasn’t been done to death I suggest you Google: Meteor, Deep Impact, Armageddon, and When Worlds Collide (which itself is up for a remake) and you’ll soon discover there are too many of these things already. But, okay. I’m game for another one. Will you dazzle me with incredible visuals the like I’ve never seen before? No. This is a made for television affair with mediocre CG f/x at best. And to top it all off, the science in this present day film is the worst I’ve seen in a long time. They keep playing with the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Yes, it has moved closer because of the asteroid impact, but they manage to get Atlas Rockets to the thing in a matter of minutes. In the very first scene we witness observers from all over the globe watching the meteor shower. And at each location at the exact same time, it’s dark. Did you really think we wouldn’t notice that one? The final solution is almost a direct rip-off of Armageddon. Check it out, if you dare. It’s exactly the same solution with exactly the same sacrifice. I don’t remember when this first aired on television, but please. Just skip this one. It’s not even worth the rental on dollar night.
Impact is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This is strictly an ultra-real look. Colors are natural enough, but nothing’s going to impress the heck out of you. While it’s a below average presentation, it almost ceases to matter after a while. The CG work is so obvious that it really does make this look rather made up. There’s also too much on the disc. All 3 hours plus about an hour of extras is crammed on to one DVD. Compression artifacting is a huge problem here.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track works well enough here. There are some fine examples of ambient sounds here, but most of the action is front and center. The score is appropriately subtle and low key. While there is nothing exciting at all about this presentation, it sure feels like it wanted to be bigger.
Making Of Impact: (24:51) Cast and crew talk about the show, mostly offering a lot of exposition and description of characters and plot. It really hurt to watch them brag about how plausible the science is, considering little effort went into to any illusion of plausibility.
Creating Zero Gravity: (11:41) From script and production meetings to conceptual art, this piece looks at the film’s mediocre f/x.
Deleted Scenes: (3:51) There are 3 with a handy play all option.
The only plausible disaster here is the three + hours of your life that you’re never going to get back. Whoever consulted on this movie for the scientific angle was a complete moron. Just because some might have entered a respectable science degree program doesn’t make them experts. These people obviously flunked out of said program. If it sounds like I’m being harsh, damn straight, I am. “You haven’t gotten one thing right yet.”