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Deconstruction of the 1998 movie ''ARMAGEDON'' by Michael Bay - Essay Example

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This research aims to evaluate and present deconstruction of the movie 'Armagedon' by Michael Bay through an examination of the narrative, character, technical, and aesthetic elements the filmmakers used to convey their underlining message. …
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Deconstruction of the 1998 movie ARMAGEDON by Michael Bay
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Download file to see previous pages The film ''Armagedon'' perhaps has a primary means of advancing the narrative is through spectacular visual elements. In the first two scenes there are two corresponding explosions – a meteor striking the Earth and extinguishing the dinosaurs and an unidentified source destroying the space shuttle. It is not long before a third explosion occurs as a meteor slams into a man selling inflatable Godzillas; one considers the irony in a meteor destroying replica dinosaurs. It is clear that one of the predominant means of narrative advancement is in the film’s implementation of these explosions. While they are worked seamlessly into the narrative, it seems that Bay implements them in large-part as a means of startling the viewer, just like a horror film might implement a murder. In other instances, the explosions seem to function simply as a means of allowing the viewer to revel in the Hollywood special effects. For instance, early in the film asteroids strike New York City in a highly fantastical manner, resulting in falling buildings, statues, and wide-scale havoc. Although such special effects are intrinsic to the plot, it is clear that in this scene the film dwells on the explosions simply for their fantastical nature. Another prominent structural device is the parallel narrative form. The film regularly cuts between scenes featuring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, and those centered in mission control. As the film begins the two narratives are entirely removed, leaving the viewer to question why blue-collar oilrig drillers would have anything to do with an asteroid. The film expertly interweaves the plot lines, however, as the Billy Bob Thornton character eventually states that they must bring in the world’s best deep core driller in order to stop the asteroid. The film largely remains tied to a parallel narrative structure throughout. It isn’t until a significant amount of scenes have passed before the first montage is implemented. This occurs as Harry and Grace begin to discuss the members of the team they will need to accompany them on their Earth saving mission; the film then cuts between various individuals in their place of residence or favored pastime. Another montage is implemented as the team is given psychological evaluations by the NASA scientists. To a degree, Bay’s way of dealing with this scene seems to be influenced by Steven Soderbergh’s approach in the Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve films; namely, funky sounding music is overplayed while rapid-pace editing jumps between different funny quips. Of course, the film’s primary montage occurs as the United States president announces to the nation the upcoming mission. During this time various scenes of world regions are featured looking on. The message is one of global unity and is highly poignant and inspiring. Still, it’s noted that this device was also used in a similar disaster film, Independence Day, as the United States president called on the world to join in the fight against aliens. This fact further establishes the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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