After a large comet is found to be headed toward Earth, the US and Russian space agencies concoct a plan to save humanity by nuking the comet and changing it's trajectory. Things don't exactly proceed according to plan, and the comet breaks into two pieces both headed toward Earth, with the results being the possible extermination of all life on the planet.
Curiously, with all of the subplots involving families and the potential destruction of life as we know it, the film is shallow in its emotional impact, contrary to the name of the film. There are a few scenes that are very well done, mostly the space mission and the political aspects involved with the president and his potentially final message to the country, but there are enough sappy and schmaltzy scenes to make one cringe in embarrassment. With the exception of Freeman and Duvall, both of whom are excellent as usual, the rest of the cast are lightweight NBC television stars, and the director (Leder) handles the film as if it were an episode of ER, which she was a director of for a season. There's a lot of disbelief to suspend to make this film work, with no example more striking than the fact that they expect us to believe that a fledgling cable-only station like MSNBC is what the nation watches in its' time of ultimate crisis. A passable entertainment, but I'd rather have passed altogether.
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