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Hercules Appraises The
Depth of ABC’s IMPACT!!

I am – Hercules!!
A shallow, soap-soaked, SciFi-Original-Movie-worthy miniseries from writer Michael Vickerman (“Warriors of Virtue”) about a “brown dwarf fragment” that puts the moon on a 39-day collision course with Earth, “Impact” stars James Cromwell (who was also in the big screen’s similar “Deep Impact”) as well as “JAG” vet David James Elliott (who’s also in NBC’s summer disaster miniseries “The Storm”) and Natasha Henstridge (“Eli Stone”). As with 1998’s twin disaster epics “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon,” astronauts are ultimately dispatched to fix the difficulty. “Impact” has its own twin in the NBC miniseries “Meteor,” starring Billy Campbell, Christopher Lloyd and Jason Alexander, coming along in three weeks. I’m not sure astronauts involve themselves with that one, but I’m guessing yes. (NASA was also involved in dispatching the 8-kilometer chunk of rock headed for Earth in 1979’s big-screen “Meteor” starring Sean Connery and Natalie Wood.) One of the wackier things about “Impact” is it’s a German production, shot partially in Berlin with German co-stars like Florentine Lahme and Benjamin Sadler player German characters. A language barrier between filmmakers and German TV executives could explain a lot about the miniseries’ terrible dialogue, and it makes one wonder if there’s a whole different, better German-language version, using the same special effects, in which David James Elliott barely speaks. The New York Times says:
… I didn’t mind “Impact’s” well-paced goofiness, despite really wanting to mind it. …
The Washington Post says:
… what are we to make of a not-scary apocalyptic miniseries -- one in which the "villain" isn't an evil-looking craggy asteroid or meteorite but our own wheel o' cheese moon? … We like the sexy people in "Impact." We just miss the sexy plot.
The Orange County Register says:
… Pretty much all of the dialogue is that bad. If Mystery Science Theater 3000 was still on the air, this piece of Cheez Whiz would rise to the top of the show's list. It begs to be mocked – when it's not lulling you to sleep. …
The Salt Lake Tribune says:
… This plodding, lifeless science-fiction thriller about the moon careening toward Earth has about as much, um, impact as a wet noodle. A lunar disaster of this magnitude has never been so boring. …
The Boston Globe says:
… An apocalypse would be a welcome relief from this wretched disaster knock-off … tells its feeble, scientifically absurd story with a truly shameless dependency on cliches. …
Variety says:
… mostly silliness … the movie proves weakest in creating relationships for the key characters, including Maddie's ethically challenged struggling journalist (as if there's another kind) ex-husband. "Start thinking beyond what we believe is possible," Alex counsels early on regarding the threat. Actually, try not thinking at all, and you'll be better prepared to sit back and be rocked by this shallow "Impact."
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Unfortunately, despite the title, there's not a lot of dynamism in "Impact." Instead, there's a lot of heel-dragging, such as during a train journey in which a boorish Yank flirts uselessly with the affianced woman, or when characters moon (sorry) over photos of dead loved ones. Viewers sticking with "Impact" aren't looking for insights into the human condition; they're coming for smoking craters, staying for lunar landings and to giggle helplessly at the faux science. So get on with it already. …
9 p.m. Sunday. ABC.

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