“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 1998 / Director: John Putch / Actors: Finola Hughes, Peter Onorati ... / DVD released 29 August, 2000 at Paramount / Features of the DVD: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, HiFi Sound, NTSC „
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The beginning and ending of this film are set in the year 2029, although the story relates to a fictitious event in the year 1993. Ten years before this time a physicist, Dr Peter Crawford, (played by Dennis Hopper) had discovered part of a comet that was heading towards Earth. This asteroid was so large that it would be drawn into the moon and the impact would send thousands of fragments to Earth where human life would be destroyed. He named this asteroid Tycus and published his findings in a number of scientific journals. He was not believed by the scientific community, so he turned his attention elsewhere. Crawford went to a number of millionaires around the world and showed his work to them. His plan was to build a large underground complex that could survive the impact of the asteroid and for the donation of large sums of money he promised the millionaires a place in this complex where they could survive and emerge later to re-establish life on Earth. For ten years he worked on this project and managed to keep the whole affair a secret. However, he had employed a journalist, Stan Alton (played by Chick Vennera) to record the whole project. As part of the deal Alton had agreed to disappear without trace, but as the doomsday approached he contacted his best friend Jake Lowe (played by Peter Onorati) and told him to come to the complex. Lowe worked for a newspaper that specialised in Sci-Fi stories and he could not resist the draw of this big story. The film follows the events of the last few days before the asteroid is due to hit and how the people in the underground complex are preparing themselves for years of solitude existence, knowing that all of their friends and relatives would have been killed during the impact or in the devastation that followed. There are some good effects in the film and these are mixed well with real footage of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Each person in the complex
has been allowed to bring two people with them, so there are a lot of personal stories of people left behind. The character of Jake Lowe is the main part in this film but this character is very mixed, as a cross between an ex military man and a photojournalist. This means that often he is fighting rather than asking questions and this does not add to the credibility of the film. The film does also lack credibility for a number of other reasons, in particular with the family of Dr Crawford that are not aware of what he has been doing for the past ten years and ask no questions at all when he takes them to the complex. Also after ten years nobody else in the world has seen this asteroid approaching except for this one guy! Although this film is OK you do get the feeling that the writers were much better at the scientific side of the story, rather than the human interest. Perhaps a good dose of reality would have helped the story along. Also as you have seen the survivors in the first shot of the film, there is no tension as to whether the plan will succeed or not. For real sci-fi fans I am sure they would enjoy this film. It was OK, but I wouldn’t bother to watch it a second time.