MOVIE: Asteroid (1997)

This is another one of the nine movies my mom and I watched while I was on vacation over the week of Thanksgiving. Again, this movie was fairly typical, but we would’ve been fine with that because of the good cast (Michaels Biehn AND Weatherly!) were it not for the fact the last hour of this three-hour movie was so dang dull. Unfortunately, “dang dull” it was — I hate it when that happens!

The movie, which I think must’ve been a TV miniseries originally, starts out as most asteroid destruction flicks do: astronomers discover that a couple of chunks of rock are hurtling through space pointed right at the United States (why the asteroids in movies always seem to be targeting us Americans, I have no idea, but I bet if we got Homeland Security on the case, they could trace it all back to al-Qaeda).

One of the two asteroids is pretty small, and it ends up plunking into a river in Missouri, doing fairly minimal damage. The other, though, is ten times bigger and, as the scientists tell us, will blow the entire nation to smithereens. Damn you, Osama bin Laden!

As a last ditch effort to save the nation, the government decides to shoot it with some rockets to try to obliterate it (when in doubt, blow it up — clearly, they’ve been watching a lot of Mythbusters lately). Unfortunately, though they manage to hit it spot-on, instead of exploding into dust, it merely shatters into thousands of pieces, all of which continue to rush through space in our direction. Whoopsie!

Scientist Lady (Annabella Sciorra) and Cocky FEMA Guy (Michael Biehn) are on the ground trying to predict where the chunks will hit, when they realize there’s not much they can really do except wait. The pieces fly straight into Dallas, TX, where Scientist Lady’s son and father live. And that’s where this movie kind of goes off the rails. Instead of focusing on the asteroid stuff, the second half is all a search-and-rescue type thing. Scientist Lady and Cocky FEMA Guy start falling for each other (yeech) as they struggle through the wreckage of Dallas trying to find her kid and pops. Unfortunately, while the cast is good (for the record, I’ve been in love with Michael Biehn since The Terminator), the movie itself focused too much on the aftermath and not enough on the science/space stuff. The fun parts of disaster movies, in my opinion, are the attempts to AVERT said disaster — the clean-up is rarely all that satisfying.

This is pretty much a stinker, in other words, though if you too have a big crush on Biehn, it may be worth a rental for you. He does get to save the day and make the ladies swoon, after all. And he also looks absolutely smashing in windbreakers.

Of the nine movies we watched on my vacation, though, this one ranks all the way down at number 7.

[Not available at Netflix]

Genre: Sci-fi/disaster
Cast: Michael Biehn, Annabella Sciorra, Michael Weatherly, Jensen Daggett, Dennis Arndt

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: Asteroid (1997)”

  1. Eva Says:

    Where did you find this one?? I want to see it because it has my all-time favorite husband, Don Franklin! (You have Boyfriend of the Week, I have The Husband List… in my head, anyway…) Yay for bad sci fi!

  2. megwood Says:

    We first noticed it was on the Sci-Fi channel the week of Thanksgiving and it didn’t look familiar so we jotted the title down and then looked for it at the local video store. Try Hollywood Video, if you’ve got one of those — that’s where we found it. It looks like you can also buy it new for about $8 or used for about $6 at Amazon.com. You might also try watching its page at the IMDb site (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118261/), as they often post upcoming TV screenings on their sites now. Doesn’t look like it will be on any time soon, though — nothing displaying on the page right now for it.

    Don is extremely cute in this movie, by the way. He plays a very dashing fireman. His wife is super-annoying, though — you’ve been warned!

  3. Eva Says:

    Ah… I would certainly be biased against the wife to begin with. 🙂 Thanks!

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