Armageddon (1998) (part 5 of 13)

Scary General is less than happy with Harry’s team. He tells Truman, “If you’re trying to make me feel better about the scenario, give it up!”

Billy Bob is encouraged, noting that Chick was an Air Force commando for seven years. Scary General takes a different approach, reading off a list of the team’s crimes. “Robbery, assault, resisting arrest!” He mentions one is a collector for the mob, and a few of the team have done “serious time”. Oh come on, it’s just the earth. What’s he getting so hung up about?

Truman offers the wan excuse of “they’re the best at what they do.” Scary General speaks for all of us when he says, “The Fate Of The Planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn’t trust with a potato gun!” Mmmm… potatoes… Oh, sorry. This movie.

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We see the Retards leaning on a second-floor railing as Harry makes his entrance. He tells Truman the team is a go, but “they’ve made a few requests.” A Sienfeldian bass cello plays underneath the scene as Harry nervously shuffles some papers. He begins, “Oscar has some outstanding parking tickets he wants wiped off his record.” Oscar jumps in with “Fifty-six parking tickets!” Then all the other guys each have their own allegedly humorous requests, but I’ll spare you the details. Truman responds that they can take care of some of that.

Steve “Why is Donny being so unfunny, Mommy?” Buscemi worriedly calls out, “Harry!” Harry waves Rockhound off and says there’s one more request. Could this be the punch line? Hoo boy, I don’t think my sides (or my stomach) can take much more.

“Yeah, one more thing,” Harry says. “Uh, none of them want to pay taxes again. Ever.” Okay, I know we’re supposed to yuk it up at this band of common-folk ruffians sticking it to the Establishment, but I find it incredibly skeevy that in our planet’s hour of need, they’re more concerned with themselves than getting down to business.

Anyway, time for all the medical examinations. More gasp Comic gasp Relief! Why, I must be the luckiest recapper in the world. Or cursed by Gypsies. Either way works, really.

A doctor plays with a harpoon-sized needle in front of a nervous Max. “Who’s that for, Mr. Ed? You stick me with that thing, I’m going to stab you in the heart with it! You ever see Pulp Fiction?” Yes Max, please remind us of all the exponentially better Bruce Willis films we could be watching right now.

Armageddon (1998) (part 5 of 13)

Film School Lesson Number Two: Never, EVER reference an Academy Award nominated film in your crappy movie.

The guys get rectal examinations (or something) from a doctor, and the doctor is played by former SNL regular Ellen Cleghorn, which should give you an idea of how amusing this part is.

In another examination room, a doctor is explaining to Bear how “shockingly bad” his cholesterol is. This prompts Bear to stand, rip off his hospital gown, and shake his groove thing in a pair of tiny tiger print briefs. He even pulls down one side of them saucily. (I’m definitely going with the cursed by Gypsies theory.)

You know, the doctors should have known better. Jive-Talkin’ Brothers don’t care about the long-term effects their diets may have on their health, they just want to dance, dance, dance!

Armageddon (1998) (part 5 of 13)

“Hey, if Joe Don Baker can do a nude scene, why not me?”

Then it’s on to psych evaluations. The scene cuts between all the team’s interviews, and hammers in all the traits that supposedly make the characters real people, instead of shrill, warmed-over clichés.

In a stainless steel room with gravy boats attached to the walls, Rockhound completes a Rubik’s Cube, then explains he has a doctorate from MIT and once taught at Princeton. Meanwhile, a doctor starts a desktop kinetic ball display, and Chick is transfixed by it. He admits, “You know, I think this might be the most uncomfortable room I’ve ever been in in my life.”

Meanwhile, Oscar makes an odd reference to Jethro Tull. Meanwhile, Max describes the recipe for haggis. Meanwhile, Bear cries and asks for a hug. So far, all their attempts at “quirky” have ended up “freaking confusing”.

But there’s more! We see AJ only wants Harry’s approval, Rockhound is horny, Chick could crack at any moment, blah blah blah, every space travel movie made in the last twenty years. Humanity’s saviors, ladies and gentlemen. I do believe I’d slit my wrists at this point.

Armageddon (1998) (part 5 of 13)

“I’m gonna knock you out, HUH! Momma said knock you out, HUH!”

Truman and Harry meet with a doctor looking over the test results, and of course our “heroes” have failed every single one of their medical exams. Yet, somehow, they get approved by NASA anyway. They even insert a shot here of someone bringing down a big rubber stamp that says “NASA Approved” on Rockhound’s manila folder. Hope that wasn’t too subtle for you.

All the men, now wearing NASA flight suits, walk side by side towards a hangar. Inside the hangar, an astronaut named Col. Willie Sharp (heh, heh) shares my sentiments as he sees them approach: “Talk about the wrong stuff.” You have no idea, sir. You have no idea.

Jessica Ritchey

Born in Western North Carolina, Juniper was discovered in a filthy shack in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains, speaking a made up language to a tattered rag doll, her only companion. Her social skills have improved little in the intervening years. She is currently making flailing efforts at being a freelance writer. One of history's supreme procrastinators she plans on writing a book about it someday.

Multi-Part Article: Armageddon (1998)

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