Michael Bay’s Armageddon is almost the textbook definition of big, dumb fun, but arguably the most entertaining thing about the apocalyptic sci-fi blockbuster is Ben Affleck’s DVD commentary.
The actor absolutely rips the movie to shreds, revealing that when he put it to his director that training astronauts to drill would be a lot easier and faster than doing the opposite, he was told to “shut the f*ck up”. It remains preposterously entertaining stuff, though, even if NASA have never lauded the movie’s accuracy, despite granting the cast and crew access to organization’s facilities.
Speaking of which, even though Armageddon was already in rarefied air by being allowed to shoot as NASA HQ, Bay revealed to Variety that Bruce Willis tried to take things one step further by attempting to break into a shuttle before being stopped by security.
“Bruce, he’s a movie star. He can command the screen. He’s very funny too. He takes control of the cast, and he’s got a great fun energy and I had a great time. He was tough at first, and by the way, Armageddon was a total fun set. … It was almost like camp. They stopped prepping it for one hour, for us.
We are on the gantry [the Orbiter Access Arm, which allows access into the shuttle], and Bruce was able to walk in, He goes to me, ‘Mike, we’re gonna do one take; the second take, I’m going to make a run for it and I’m going to go inside the shuttle.’ Bruce is about to break into the space shuttle … and these guys, all in suits, fully masked up, they’re like [wagging his finger side to side], ‘Uh, uh, uh!’”
Even though Willis didn’t make it inside the spacecraft, Armageddon still ranks as the second highest-grossing movie of the legendary action icon’s entire career, so the absence of that sliver of added realism in the ludicrous epic was hardly a game-changer.