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Armageddon begins by quickly defining the characters, who and what they are. There are two sets of heroes, the gritty-yet-loveable oil rig men, and the lovely geeks at NASA. There is also two sets of villains; the Evil Military Guys, and the big pieces of space rocks. (Both of these villains had remarkably similar intellectual ability.)

Meanwhile, back in orbit, the Space Shuttle is destroyed by asteroids... shades of ancient video games! NASA, with the help of an astronomer geek, discovers there is the mother-of-all planet-killers heading our way, and fast! (I loved the scene where the asteroid gets its name.)

Armageddon is filled-to-the-brim with Geeks, all sorts of them, and it’s so wonderful to watch! Although, I would like to add, there is an extremely noticeable absence of female and nonwhite geeks, which I think is very inaccurate. The one and only female control-room geek appears late in the movie and is a blonde babe in glasses who obviously quit her Super Model career to pursue her Geeky ambitions. Anyway, these geeks are in their element, in crisis, brainstorming their way to save the planet. There is a great scene where a geek shows a mocked-up device (solar sails) as an idea to stop the asteroid, cool! There is a lot of supposedly-over-everyone’s-head Geek Speak, which must be interpreted for the dumb old President, and the dumb old Military.

I found the movie suffered big time, for me, as a geek, after our heroes launched into space. The scenes at the Mir Space Station were unnecessary, and the script made the Russian Cosmonaut look like a sitcom character, a complete buffoon who fixes everything by hammering on it. I was offended by that character, not amused. I have a lot respect for the builders and cosmonauts of the Mir Space Station, and I think they should not have been depicted as idiots.

The acting was OK. The geeks were very good, in particular the brainy-save-the world-with-his-intellect geek. I found the oil drillers were a bit too macho for my tastes, but I have to admit Bruce Willis was a good choice for his character. My absolute favorite driller was the blonde cowboy, Marlboro Man meets philosopher, who totally romanticized the mission, and was incredibly endearing. “Hound” was also very good, and as it turns out, he had quite a bit of Geek in his genes, but opted for the oil rigging, gambling, womanizing lifestyle. The female lead, played by Liv Tyler, was a pretty, but rather bland character, and same goes for her boyfriend. I think the producers were aiming for a Titanic thing with those two. The depth of their relationship was limited to crazy pillow talk.

I do have a suggestion for the Armageddon marketers, where’s the Armageddon all-male pinup calendar? I’d order one, as long as it includes all the NASA geeks, of course!

NASA mission patches get a very high profile in this movie. I love those mission patches! (By the way, anyone can have a mission patch on their arm, all you have to do is order one from AB Caps and Emblems, they are awesome!)

If you can stomach a high dose of God Bless America, this is one entertaining and geek-filled movie. I think the moral of the story is Bullies and Geeks have to learn to work together and get along if our planet is to survive, and hey, who can argue with that.

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