For some reason, it seems to be lost on a lot of people that plot holes often don’t simply occur to YouTube sleuths years after the fact. Many times, they are a necessary loophole to reach entertainment goals, and other times they are an overlooked flaw that a headstrong writer/director would rather gloss over than be forced to address. When it comes to Armageddon, it would seem a fair swig of both factors were in the heady mix.
The official synopsis as the film reads: “After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep-core drillers to save the planet.” Now, no doomsday movie is without its far-reaching flaws, but Armageddon has so many that it is even used by NASA as part of their training programme to see if new managers can identify the 168 errors depicted in the movie.
One of the more obvious problems was detected by Ben Affleck himself, who played the heroic A.J. Frost in the film. He correctly asked director Michael Bay whether it would have been simply easier to teach astronauts how to drill, rather than fast track drillers on a humanity saving astronaut course. As he recalls in the hilarious DVD commentary, when he voiced this concern, Bay simply replied: “Shut up Ben! Y’know this is a real plan!”
For the remainder of the DVD Commentary, Affleck continues to comically disrespect the drilling profession, pinpoint the potholes and pick out every cliché that the film features, such as why everyone always needs “their guys” because they only work with the best. Now, I’m sure we’ve all had some great colleagues in our time, but when it comes to the actual life or death of the entire planet, we’d all surely be happy to acquiesce to the demands of the experts.
And if you’re wondering why Affleck still starred in the film despite his script reservations and endlessly besmirching it afterwards, then perhaps he shares the same answer that Steve Buscemi gave when he was asked why he accepted his heroic-Geologist role: “I wanted a bigger house.”
The film now stands as a beacon of the crass 1990s at its exaggerated pinnacle. The sentiment of the film, in short, seems to be about the redemptive power of good old brute strength and heroism, as it marches along to its foregone finale and the cherry on top of Aerosmith. Along the way, it seems to disavow any sense of intellectualism, including the fact that the world seems to be bound by one singular time zone, and everything in space seems to be affected by gravity. The result is a guilty pleasure for some, and it induces a rolling tirade of abuse from others, including one of its biggest stars, evident from the commentary below.