For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will once again be locked inside The Asylum, reviewing tons of releases by the famed studio. Every weekday throughout April you will get another Asylum review. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum.
An elite team of scientists race against time when a torrential storm of giant meteors threatens to annihilate all life on Earth. The hot shot scientist that comes up with the plan to save us all involves triggering several massive earthquakes to move the planet out of the way of an incoming asteroid. Their plan, I have to say, is abysmal and leaves the Earth in just as much ruin as if they’d let the asteroid hit it. This is not great sci-fi. It’s a fun disaster flick if you’ve never taken a basic science class in high school, but their plan broke me so very hard into the start of this film that I sat in a kind of broken silence through the rest of it. I will say this last thing for the plot, anyone who thinks Armageddon’s plan to deal with asteroids was unrealistic needs to watch Asteroid vs. Earth and then reassess that, because, wow…
Half of my fun with this film was the fact that Tim Russ (Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager) Robert Davi (one of the brothers in The Goonies, and Sanchez in License to Kill), and Tia Carrere (True Lies and Wayne’s World) try their best to make this work even with the lackluster material playing against them. Davi probably has the least amount to do as he’s stuck in a situation room through most of it, but Tia Carrere and Tim Russ both have to sell some questionable scenes on a submarine set that never quite feels like it belongs in a submarine, and just barely on an actual ocean-going vessel.
The effects in this aren’t half bad. Some of the more practical shots are actually what work against the CG effects. There’s some good cinematography going on instead of the shoddy, over-the-shoulder shots you usually get from the quickly filmed productions. The actors I mentioned earlier really try their damnedest to sell this, but Asteroid vs. Earth is one of those films you watch while there are crazy kids around you on a Saturday, and don’t care what’s on in front of you.
I really went in expecting something, at the very least, palatable, but this goes beyond train wreck, and by the end of it I was hoping their ridiculous plan wouldn’t work just because it was that ill-conceived. There have been much better Asylum films than this one, and unfortunately I’m sure there are worse ones I’ve yet to review for the month. The only reason I even rate this as high as I do is because of the effort put in to making the film look decent, plus Russ, Davi, and Carrere’s inclusion in the cast.
Born the same year as Star Wars, it seems Ashe was destined to be into films with big impacts, explosions, and laser swords. With a love for sci-fi and horror, Ashe has a thing for games of both the tabletop and video variety. He is living a charmed, married life of sixteen years, along with several cats, a dog, and a bearded dragon. Ashe currently writes for Diehard Gamefan, covering video and tabletop games since 2008. Starting with Cinefessions just a few years ago, he has decided to tackle one of his original passions: film.