Deep Impact - rated - (kindly) TEPID

Deep Impact certainly didn't make much of an impact on me. Basically this film had a couple of good ideas, and wasted them to spend time on a goofy love story which borders on pedophilia. Two kids, who must be 12 years old max, getting married? God help us! Really, it upset me to see a good little actor like Tobey Maguire (from The Ice Storm ) wasting his talent on this sort of rubbish.

The 3 good ideas which should have been given more attention were these:

1. If the world is ending, and you can save a limited number of people, who do you select, and what criteria do you use? And what do the people who are left behind do?

2. What does a Really Big Wave do to the world?; and

3. What kind of world remains?

The film only answered question 2, and in that respect, the film was really quite good. There's something really scary, on quite a visceral level, about being swallowed up by a big wave. The special effects people did a good job here. It was actually frightening. I saw this film a couple of weeks ago, before the disaster in Papua New Guinea. What a horrendous co-incidence that is? In fact, this film has amazing timing, given both the disaster of PNG and the imminent release of Bruce Willis' Armagedon. We'll soon see how much of a disaster that turns out to be.

I was pleased when Deep Impact began to get into the question of selecting the people who would represent the United States in the future (and of course, in this sort of a film that means The World). But after a few tantalising details, the issue was left behind for the stupid "love" story. And that meant that lots of loose ends were left stupuidly dangling. In fact there were far too many loose ends, even for a mindless action movie.

And what about question no 3? In my version of this movie, the 2 countries which seem to be untouched by the wave are Australia and China. Does Australia become the new USA? Is China the new Russia? Or the new China? Or do we create a Brave New World together? That's what I wanted to see.

Instead, we get to see some very unattractive people rushing about in a panic - but sticking to the main highways - and on the right side of the road! Give me a break! Surely Tea Leoni has never looked worse than she does here, and she is just dreadful! She's a talented comedian. What's she doing in this dumb movie? And who else was in it? Maximillian Schell! Why? Is he being punished for something? At least he can act, which stands out like a beacon among some dreadful performances. Vanessa Redgrave is the only other person who makes an effort, and she steals every scene she is in, in a "cameo" kind of way. Really, she was the only person worth saving out of thie whole sorry lot. But alas, she couldn't stand them either.