The Armageddon Debate: Dave's Rebuttal
Aug 19, 2011
If you're just joining in, you should know that @DaveG34 and I are debating the merits of the movie Armageddon. The opening statements are here and here; this is Dave's rebuttal to mine. My rebuttal is posted here. We agreed to keep our rebuttals to 500ish words.
As the next step in this debate, @EmGusk, who has declared herself fully neutral regarding this movie, has agreed to evaluate our arguments and choose a winner.
REBUTTAL: YOU'VE BEEN AFFLECKTED
I was impressed but unmoved by your argument. You argue at length that the film touches on three crucial themes - the end of times, teamwork, and romance blossoming in a time of impossibility. You also say a bunch of other things that I will not have time to discuss here due to the word limit. So let's just say, for the sake of argument, that all those other things are wildly wrong. Ok? With that in mind, here are your three themes, broken down asteroid-after-blast style and brought right on back to you like Affleck to a surprisingly-not-grieving Liv Tyler.
Mankind, you say, is concerned with how the world will end. I beg to differ. Perhaps, once upon a time, before mankind and little orphan Annie realized that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow, this was a concern. Now, there are more important things on the minds of Americans - like whether Pippa and Harry will become an item, or whether Angelina does one thing or another, totally different thing. Indeed, the modern world is not concerned with matters of importance, but with flash over substance. Which is exactly why Armageddon grossed a) a lot of money and b) out anyone who previously liked Animal Crackers. By the way, I'm glad animal crackers are a delicious snack and not a lobster-inspired veterinary device.
Teamwork, you say, is another important component of the film. True. But this is a hackneyed plot - did you SEE the Sandlot? How about the Great Escape? How about Midnight in Paris???? Actually, Midnight in Paris is nothing like this film, but I feel compelled to tell everyone to see it. Truly a great movie. Also, Owen Wilson a) has more than five lines, b) survives, and c) isn't stuck hanging out with Bruce Willis for a year. Imagine how fun that set must have been for him:
Bruce: "Yippee kayay, motherfucker!"
Owen: "Bruce, we're eating breakfast. Calm down."
Michael Clarke Duncan: (cries)
Romance blossoming in a time of impossibility is another overused plot. One word for you: Titanic. This movie came out in 1998, which means it hit theaters less than a year after Titanic. Have you seen Titanic? I did. I saw it three times. My favorite part was when Leo stood on the bow of the ship and declared himself the king of the world. That was awesome. Then they all died. Even the old woman, but that was many years later. My point is that Armageddon reused the plot of a movie that grossed a billion dollars the year before it came out. It is nothing more than an ambulance chaser, if the ambulance in question was a doomed, early 20th century luxury cruise ship. At a time when people were clamoring for more romance in an impossible time, Armageddon was happy to oblige - nay - exploit! That it was the highest grossing film of 1998 says far less about the quality of the movie than it does about the mindset of the moviegoing public. I'm shocked Ben Affleck didn't stand on the bow of the spaceship and declare himself the king of the world and then die in icy water while Kate Winslet showed him her boob.
To sum up, Armageddon is bad.