This is how the World Ends; not with a Bang, but with a Baysplosion

Y’know, there was a time, before Pearl Harbour decided to set a quality trend, that Michael Bay proved himself capable of directing entertaining action flicks, marred with goofy stupidity certainly, but competent and inoffensive. Armageddon certainly fails to set the world on fire (thanks to the asteroid nemesis being destroyed before it can do this very thing) however it’s not the worst flick of its kind and even has less racism than we’ve come to expect from him since Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – and somehow less racist than its death-by-space rival  Deep Impact, a film about a black President attracting the attention of an otherwise uninterested asteroid (at least that’s what I got from it – before Obama proved the film wrong).

So before Pearl Harbour, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Transformers, Friday the 13t, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Nightmare on Elm Street, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and please let me be wrong on this Ninja Turtles, Mr. Bay showed he was capable at big whoosh bang action flicks, with a good cast ensemble playing likable characters, a decent sense of peril and tension, and impressive use of destructo-physics (the birth of the Baysplosion was right here). Were Armageddon a forgettable CGI apoco-flick I’d be tempted to ignore it and move onto the next on the axe-to-grind list (spoiler: possibly Hollow Man or Titanic 3D), HOWEVER I find myself unable to get past this: a NASA consultant and Asteroid expert were brought onboard to make sure the film was as accurate as possible. ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! A story about a hunk of interstellar ice requires an expert on the subject, while the much anticipated Transformers was crafted with no concern for the subject matter and no advice sought from the millions of people with an interest in the franchise? You couldn’t even be bothered to watch the 20 minute pilot episode, yet for this you hired a team of fucking experts?! No, fuck you Michael Bay! And fuck Armageddon!

Part 1: Astronauts Assemble!

Like all good films starring Ben Affleck should, the story begins in space millions of years away from the insufferable douche.

Narrator: This is Earth, you may remember it from such films as When Harry Met Sally and Thirteen Ghosts. In the great age of the Dinosaur Empire and the civil unrest of the Mesozoic Rebellion an asteroid only 6 miles in diameter struck New Mexico – at a time when it was just Old Mexico -, sending up a cloud of dust so impenetrable it obscured the sun for a thousand years….

I’m no gynaecologist, but was it really for that long? Maybe, but I’m willing to bet that the ensuring firestorm now engulfing the entire planet as the asteroid strikes is less based on fact and more to do with Michael Bay being unable to process any thought without a colossal explosion taking place. Regardless, I’m just glad this nightmarish scenario will never happen again.

Narrator: It will happen again.

Smeg. 65 million years later life has recovered from this adversity with remarkable resilience, all things considering.

By ‘this adversity’ I mean Michael Bay’s vision of the post-impact earth

While conducting some routine space maintenance a spaceship, crew and surveillance satellite are bombarded by a flurry of asteroids. A rational response would be “How horrible and such a tragic loss of life, however space is full of speeding debris and as such its part of the course”. Sane logic does not prevail when Bay is pulling the strings however;

NASA Commander: Holy Hell, what the fuck was that.

NASA Operator: Sir we have more of those…things heading for Earth.

NASA Commander: Get me the President!

President: What you got for me son?

NASA Commander: We have incoming bogies sir!

President: Scramble the military!

Military: This is the moment we have been waiting for; incoming missiles, possibly Commie, are commin’ at us from space. Now I don’t know how those crafty Reds got a weapons platform up there without us knowing, but we will strike at them for killing our brave boys and we will win!

NASA Commander: Get me the foremost expert on Space and everything in it!

In a nutshell, a freak asteroid storm has knocked out an AMERICAN team and now the AMERICANS are poised for war against the cosmos, the Russians, or anything else deemed responsible – apart from the guy whose job it was to ensure the mission WOULD NOT BE COMPROMISED BY FREAK ASTEROID STORMS. Yes, welcome to the melodramatic world of Michael Bay, a place where knowledge is owned by the select few, and the military can wage war against Communist space rocks. The foremost expert in all things space happens to be a red-neck wife beater (no seriously) who happens to have the only telescope capable of seeing/coincidentally pointed at the exploding space craft at the time. Given these rocks were flying fast enough to pierce Reinforced Carbon-Carbon, it’s somewhat hard to believe it isn’t until dawn that the sky starts reigning down upon the denizens of New York (because it is ALWAYS New York). The asteroids that fail to kill the pet dog of a mouthy hobo I can’t wait to see the back of, despite a full-on collision, level the city. Naturally the President and White House staff are pissed that NASA failed to defend them against this disaster even though they apparently had all night to come up with something. Sure as goblins have gliders the boys at NASA are on the phone to the old coot and his telescope barn conversion, clearly all their military grade technology pales next to this curmudgeon’s telescope (the fuck!?). With his help they pinpoint the source of the catastrophe.

NASA Commander: The anomaly seems to be getting closer.

President: Enough of this ‘anomaly’ rhubarb. What is it?

NASA Commander: An asteroid sir.

President: Spare me your scientific jargan mumbo-jumbo. English damit!

NASA commander: You’re the President of the United States and you don’t know what an asteroid is? I knew I should have voted for the black guy. It’s a rock, sir.

President: Oh. My. God.

NASA Commander: That’s not the worst of it; it’s the size of Texas and it’s on a direct course for Earth.


NASA Commander: The planet you live on sir. It’ll hit in 18 days whereupon it’ll wipe out all life, and in some cases animate the dead just to kill them a second time.

President: Jesums Crackers, we’ve got to evacuate this Earf immediately.

NASA Commander: Don’t worry Mr President, we’ll find a plan so crazy you could but a tail on it and call it a fox.

In the South China Sea Harry Stamper is beating on protesters campaigning against his oil drilling operations in a whale sanctuary; a millionaire sociopathic oil drilling capitalist who beats up environmentalists as the main protagonist – who couldn’t relate to that kind of character? A further reason not to like Harry is his #2 man being Ben Affleck (aka AJ), who true to form is a lay about slob coasting off his mentors’ success. Richie isn’t the smartest of kids, having snuck Harry’s own daughter Grace into his bunk to fuck her under her father’s nose.

Harry: I’m not mad at you, my precious daughter, I’m just disappointed. This whole oil rig is stocked with high-end B-listers; Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson, William Patton; if you were determined to sleep with the cast of Daredevil we got Michael Clark Duncan right here, so why, why, why Ben Affleck? 😦

Given Harry’s recreational hobby is knocking peaceful protester’s teeth in with golf balls, his response to this affront is predictably to grab a shotgun and try to blow AJ’s head off in front of dozens of witnesses. Again not a scientist, but wouldn’t firing a gun in an oil rig be TANTAMOUNT to letting the asteroid hit the planet, for all the flaming damage this will result in should the oil ignite? A brief but lively chase follows through the line-up of plot-specific characters; by the time we’ve gotton to Michael Clarke Duncan, Harry is out of ammo and AJ is up one scab on his shin (Harry’s meant to be THE authority on deep-sea drilling yet he can’t hit a man with a shotgun from 5ft?)

Back as NASA the situation is critical. With 18 days they need a plan to deal with this threat and restore NASA’s reputation….oh and save all life from eradication.

NASA Commander: Big ‘ol chunk of stony death baring down on us. Hit me with your solutions.

NASA Scientist #1: We use a high energy laser beam and shatter it.

NASA Commander: What is this, a James Bond flick? Next.

NASA Scientist #2: We erect a sail and prey to Ganesh that solar winds drift it off course.

NASA Commander: Too pirate-y.

NASA Scientist #3: We fire a big ball of garbage…

NASA Commander: Come on guys, we’re NASA – we put man on the moon…in that film we made back in the 60s. There has to be something impractically cool we can do that’s better than last night’s top suggestion: build a time machine.

NASA scientist #4: What if we blew it up from the inside? It’d reduce the total mass of the object be almost 30%.

NASA Commander: And that’ll save us from extinction?

NASA scientist #4: We’d be less extinct by 30%.

NASA Commander: Then we’ll need a team of drilling specialists. Johnson, get me the Thunderbirds.

Johnson: Those are puppets sir.

NASA Commander: Then get me the next best thing to a wooden puppet with drilling experience!

AJ meets these specifications perfectly, and with luck his boss happens to be the world’s greatest driller, a God among drillers; “Whatever they said couldn’t be drilled, this guy drilled it” (including my wife, despite my numerous calls for him to stop). With a record like that who better to trust the fate of humanity to? It was either him or the Mole Man, and frankly he wierds the fuck out of me.

“Bah, one day I and my chimera Morlocks shall be the one the government comes crawling to, not the mighty Harry Stamper and his crew of rag-tag drill specialists!”

Harry fires Richie the moment the military touchdown to whisk him away for debriefing at NASA. Calmly he listens to the situation. For the sake of security no one outside the select few have been informed in the hopes of preventing mass hysteria, or as the NASA guy puts it “riots, religious hysteria – basically the worst parts of the bible”. Now my religious awareness is limited, however I seem to recall there being worse parts in the bible; crucifixion, Hell, demons, the Rapture and the apocalypse; in comparison a few riots and religious zealots preaching fail to fill me with chilling dread. Additionally, if the plan fails and the earth has only days to go then what harm could their possibly be in mass rioting and panic? NASA need Harry’s help in reconstructing the drilling equipment they stole from him , because no one at NASA, at NASA, can figure out how to assemble the thing; the organisation that are able to land remote cameras on Mars are unable to read the blueprints for a drill – the fuck is that about?

NASA Commander: Clearly it was a mistake to steal your equipment – our bad. However we’re going to make it up to you and make you an honorary astronaut. We have a crew of highly trained astronaut engineers who’ve received 8 months worth of intensive training in hazardous environmental drilling procedures, and are ready to follow your orders to the letter with military precision.

Harry: You can’t teach a man jack-shit about drilling in 8 months! They have to know about digging, dirt, holes – the list is endless. I’ll use my team.

NASA Commander: Do you know how long it takes to prepare someone for space travel? Your team doesn’t just have to drill, it has to set up complex space-tested technologies, meet the harsh environment of space and the extreme pressures of the journey itself.

Harry: How long does it usually take to meet requirements?

NASA Commander: Several years.

Harry:….I still say that mining knowledge is more vital than aerospace engineering. I’ll take my crew.

Yeah, fuck you Neil Armstrong – a Yorkshire miner could do your job. So how much money did Shell, BP and co pay J.J. Abrams to write this? Who is this crack team of better-than-NASA-grade-astronauts comprised of then?



Galactic   Readiness

Bear Hard-as-diamond-shit man-mountain with no respect for the law Weighs as much as half the crew together, so fuel consumption may be   an issue, as will space in the cramped shuttle.
Max Boarder line obese compulsive eater with a love of tattoos and his   momma Not much food in the harsh vacuum of space. Can only hope the   infections from his tats will distract from the pain of being separated from   his momma.
Hound A sex-mad schizophrenic who gave Harry’s daughter her first tampon   (yeah, this is a guy you want to be shacked up with for a long month of   confined travel) Should he somehow pass the health exam, the crew are going to get so   raped in their sleep, unless they can deliver fresh whores at light speed.
Oscar It’s Owen Wilson, so expect him to play the same role he plays in all   his movies. Oh, but this time he does   own a ranch. Easy as pie on Sunday mornin’, you know how he rolls. So long as he   can bring his favourite horse along he’s ready for anything
Chapel A compulsive gambler. High risk of him betting away their food and oxygen supplies once   they reach the Russian orbital refuelling station.
Another Guy Not even shown in the montage Guessing by the lack of intel he’s the Red Shirt.
AJ Ben Affleck. This man isn’t ready for making a sandwich, let alone interstellar   drilling operations.

Harry: These are the men that’ll be saving the earth. So whatdya think :D?”

Part 2: Anything you can do, I can do Better

The team are less than optimistic at the proposal laid out for them: die in space or die on earth. Yet Harry carries as much respect as Commander Shepard with maxed out Paragon points, for all the men are ready to follow him into the black as long as the government agree to their demands.

Oscar: Void all my speeding tickets I racked up in 7 States [How a horse breaks the speed limit I have no idea].

Chapel: A full weeks package to Las Vegas.

Red Shirt: Give my girlfriends legal US citizenship.

Max: You know those 8-track tapes? I want them brought back just to fuck with iTunes.

Bear: I wanna stay in the White House for the summer [house is spelt ’horse’ on his request sheet].

Hound: And none of us should ever pay taxes again.

NASA Commander: So let me get this straight; you want me to cancel 56 horse-related speeding fines, legalise an immigrant smuggling operation, retard the technological development of the music industry, let a man with a list of violence-related felonies stay in the building where the President sleeps, and let you all off paying taxes – the very same taxes that are funding this operation to save the planet?

Harry: Damn straight.

NASA Commander: May as well ask the Pope to advocate homosexual marriage while I’m at it.

Failing the physical AND psychological exams doesn’t make them feel ill prepared in the slightest, and why should it when they have a crew of trained professionals overseeing them there: Chiselled Jaw Man, Impossibly Hot She-Pilot (if you value her as asset and a human being, keep her the hell off the shuttle with Hound aboard), Murderous Glare Don’t Fuck With Me Captain, and the Nuclear Ordinance Duo. I sense an old skool rivalry brewing, the likes of which will put Animal House to shame. No time for jock vs nerd antics yet (plenty of time for it once in the perilous space environment requiring teamwork and cooperation); now is time for Harry’s men to start putting NASA to shame. You see, a handful of socially maladapted drillers apparently know more than the collective engineering minds at NASA, so it’s up to then to correct alllllll the mistakes the big brains have been making since the 1960s, stripping specifically designed mining rovers of components they feel are unnecessary, what with being experts on weathering the lethal environmental conditions inherent to asteroids travelling at the speed of death.

AJ: What’s this?

NASA Engineer: That’s a thermal duct that prevents you freezing to death.

Harry: Only pussies and queer scientists freeze. Axe it AJ.

Bear: Got a lot of wires over here boss man.

Harry: Yo poindexter, you mind telling me what the fuck a bunch of wires are doing on my drill?

NASA Engineer: The craft will need those to conduct electricity throughout its systems.

Harry: Electricity? Ain’t no lightning in space. Bear, rip ‘em.

Hound: We’re done de-fitting the oxygen cylinders.

Harry: Perfect, that’ll give us more room to stick another drill and all our weight training equipment.

NASA Engineer: Actually sirs, if you would just listen to me, I have a PHD in astrophysics and quantum physics, and some of these modifications-

Harry: Hey that’s a coincidence, Bear has a PHD too in Shut the Fuck Up ‘Fore I beat ‘Yo Ass from the University of Suck a Dick. C’mon guys, let’s get those chairs out and make room for Oscar’s horse.

A week later and even being unable to make it through the space-flight simulators without barfing their guts up has failed to deter their egos. By this point the NASA command are hoping the sheer concentrated might of their collective egos may shatter the asteroid, and have continued with plans to send them rather than the highly trained professional astronauts.

NASA Commander: Here is the procedure. You’ll take off from earth, fuel up at a Russian refuelling station, spend 60 hours on course for the moon, sling-shot around the moon past all the crashed Cybertronian technology we’ve been keeping secret since the Kennedy Era, come up behind the asteroid like a rapist in the night and land in two zones we’re guestimating are the soft parts – really, we got no fucking clue, but then again we’re sending you guys up instead of real astronauts so who gives a damn.

Oscar: What did he say about crashed alien technology?

NASA Commander: Conditions on the rock are as follows: razor sharp rocks everywhere – bluntest objects on the thing will ironically be your drilling equipment. 300 below freezing at night and we estimate this thing may actually set on fire during the day – that day and night are irrelevant in space means nothing to this monster. Finally gravity may flux so use your thrusters.

Chapel: Thrusters?

NASA Commander: Oh right, our engineers told be you removed the thrusters to make additional room for Oscar’s horse. Well tough tits. You drill, drop the nuke, scram, remote detonate the bombs before the zero barrier and hope that they explode it blows the rock apart so both halves skim past the earth. Naturally this is all dependent on the asteroid admitting defeat and ignoring the laws of physics in order to cater to our demands.

Simple enough plan with only one small drawback: the details. Sure things could be worse for Harry, like a cancer scare, or perhaps being unable to cash his winning lottery ticket due to being on a suicide mission, or perhaps AJ could propose to his daughter and she accept….ah, that’s actually happened. Listen AJ, I know you love Grace as much as you love screwing with her father, but to pull a stunt like this days before you’re trapped at the man’s mercy in the lawless vacuum of hostile space where any fatal ‘accident’ can be explained away with no fear of repercussions is beyond moronic.

Training continues and NASA have developed a sense of humour, randomly dropping various environmental hazards on the team mid-session to see how badly they react. Laugh it up, these guys, dicks though they may be, are the ones keeping you in employment AND ALIVE. Not as it these hazard perception tests are required to test their readiness, abilities under pressure and team working skills, as AJ’s stubborn hotheadedness is jeopardising the teams’ effectiveness and pushing the equipment to breaking point. Moral is failing so Harry demands that on their last day before a mission requiring vital control and precision his team be allowed off-base TO GO DRINKING, or in AJ’s case jamming animal crackers into Grace’s panties (it’s a lot less erotic than it sounds). Harry makes amends with his terminally ill father (a lot more erotic than it sounds) while the remainder of the crew gamble and drink their way through every woman in the state, eventually getting arrested and adding VD and arrest fines to NASA’s mounting concerns. Chapel even goes to see his ex-wife to apologise and give his son a reminder of the dad he never knew (daaawwwww), before being arrested in a strip club (ah…..).

Seemingly the asteroid is aware of NASA and National Securities’ worries about the team being a gaggle of retards so decides a little mercy bombarding of China ahead of schedule is the most proactive means of alleviating these now piffling concerns. With China now a smoking crater the cat is out of the bag on the apocalyptic scenario upon them – maybe if all Hollywood disasters weren’t so set on annihilating New York all the time more people would stand and pay attention when the city gets pulverised by flaming space mortars. With the world press now aware of the imminent death you’d think they’d have something better to do than standing around NASA fences begging for interviews – say cherishing loved ones, wild orgies, finishing the decorating. There’s no going back now for Harry’s men, else it’d be a PR disaster for NASA  D: Guess it’s time for NASA to phone for help from Russia and Japan, which is ballsier than sending a gaggle of rig-heads to save the planet, considering they knowingly sat back and watched China be bombarded with meteorites – mind you it worked for Churchill in 1941 and were it not for him withholding knowledge from America of the Japanese intentions to attack Pearl Harbour then the US never would have entered the war (only took you 2 years this time) and we’d all be speaking German and have really strong economies now, oh the horror, the horror. Europe’s space programme is so much of a joke that America prefers to settle a 50 year Cold War rivalry with the soviets/communists/Godzilla invokers than ask the Garlic-smelling/ yodelling/watch making/ dentist-challenged for help. With the aid of the Eastern Block, Operation: Save de Earf is ready for initiation. The team is dressed and prepped for take-off. For some, if not all, this could be their last moments on earth.

Grace: Dad, do me a favour, bring back my fiancé.

Harry: What, no “goodbye dad, thanks for the suicide run”? Y’know, I’d ideas of leaving AJ up there to die, but you two deserve each other – yeah, you deserve to be married to that tool, every day knowing that your last moments with me were all about him. Enjoy the life I’m dying to give you, bitch.

AJ: Harry, you go on ahead, I got this covered, Affleck-style.

He bursts into song, badly, grinding the emotional pathos and narrative to a halt. I would relish in embedding a link to this clip so you can all bathe in the glory of Affleck making an ass of himself, however due to “the volume of hate directed towards Mr. Bay and Mr. Affleck over the past few years, including hate mail, slander, death threats, boycotts, plots of kidnap and lewd photographs”, Hollywood lawyers dictate I am legally unable to use excerpts from any of either men’s films, so here’s an idea of what you’re missing out on:

Few things can unite a peoples like guaranteed extinction, unless of course you’d forgotten the power of a good old fashioned Presidential address:

President: My fellow Earflicans. We are at a time of crisis. As I drone on there is a global killer heading for us from the depths of space, and not, as I originally stated in my press conferences, Space Russians. At times like these we must all stand together, united, against a common foe: space. Once this operation is done I will be coordinating with my military advisors about retaliation on space. I am more than aware that space missions are no longer interesting to the American People, and so to increase TV rating I have taken an idea from The Simpsons; your hope rests not on NASA grade astronauts, culled from the finest engineers and flight personnel but with The Everyman: a team of blue-collar Joes with no training beyond the basics, and no prior experience using the complex equipment they’ll be required to use. Yet I am not afraid. I speak to you now, safe in a concrete, steel-reinforced bunker 7 miles below sea level, confident and assured that you, the little people, are in good hands. Hopefully see you next week, and remember, it’s election year so remember who saved the planet when you go in that ballot booth.

I’d have liked to have seen what the other nations’ leaders were announcing for their television addresses; maybe the Emperor of Japan commit hari kari on live TV, the Chinese blaming it on their people for not being Communist enough, the British Prime Minister blaming himself in that typically English way, and the Irish/Scots/Welsh declaring succession then realising that lack of independence from England hasn’t solved the problem. Harry & Co are filmed boarding the shuttles; on seeing her former husband on TV, Chapel’s ex-wife finally feels she can tell her son that the man he say the other day is his dad, not a salesman, which must be a lot to take in for a 5 year old.

“So there isn’t a Santa, dirt isn’t a substitute for food, girls don’t have boy-parts, the world is about to be smooshed by a ginormous rock and I have a father who is an astronaut....”

There are two teams; Freedom, crewed by Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, the lovable fat Max, the hardened Colonel Sharp, the stunning blonde woman, and a bomb defuse expert. Crewing the Independent are Ben Affleck, Michael Clark Duncan, Owen Wilson, Red Shirt, and everyone NASA sent up but whom received no earlier screen time. I know which ship I’d rather be on; not only is the idea of being trapped on a 60 hour flight with Owen Wilson and Affleck more off-putting than spending a day watching The View in someone else’s soiled underwear, but this is clearly the shuttle that’s destined for disaster due to Freedom’s overwhelmingly one-sided talent roster.

Nightfall. Shuttles Freedom and Independent launch under cover of night so as to sneak up on the asteroid unseen and make for the Russian refuelling station, where they’ve got the place running so efficient all the labour is done by a single man.

I’m sure given all the time he took in consulting NASA officials, asteroid experts and cosmologists instead of watching a single episode of Transformers, Michael Bay is more of an expert on space flight than I, however is it wise for Independent to be flying RIGHT BEHIND Freedom? These things are designed to withstand high temperatures at re-entry sure, but how is team Independent being blinded by the flaming rocket exhaust going to help already complex matters? The dock and board the Event Horizon where they are greeted by Comrade Andropov, a man left alone in space for the last 18 months, on the off chance the Russians may decide to re-open their space programme or form a make-shift alliance with NASA; a job that until now seemed as fruitless as installing a chocolate condom machine in a diabetic nunnery.

Andropov: Zdravstvuj, Americans. Velcome to the Event Horizon, a place requiring such minimal maintenances that a sole man can keep it running vith no problems despite a crippling case of space-madness and nothing to drink but toilet water recyce. You vill split into two teams I think; one to refuel your shuttles, and the other to make sure that there are no problems during the fuelling.

Harry: Why, I thought you said this was child’s play?

Andropov: Da it is, however there is alvays a chance the fuel could ignite. It has never happened in my 2 year service, nor the many years this station has been in operation, but there are protocols. This job is of extreme importance, yet requires the bare minimum of intellect.

Harry: AJ! You’re in charge of safety.

Andropov: Now my American friend, this task is a simple one. In event of problem, you talk into TV monitor then turn slightly to your right and pull this lever down, понимать?

AJ: I got this man, couldn’t be simpler.

3 minutes later…..

The crew of the Freedom escape with no casualties while Independence waits perilously for the cosmonaut to make it aboard, unfortunately allowing AJ the jinx to slip in alongside him, detaching moments before the station erupts. Everyone seems okay to have Andropov aboard breathing their sparse air and using up their now severely dwindling fuel supply. Given the misfortune anyone around AJ seems to befall, I’d rather have the pissed off croaky throat ghost from Ju On: The Grudge aboard the Independent and take my survival chances – at least she wouldn’t be using up the oxygen.

Who’d you rather trust your life with?

The asteroid is now clearing the moon, meaning the team have to do their sling-shot manoeuvre now or never. Funny, earlier I would swear the asteroid was much closer to earth, having already passed the moon. Is this bad editing continuity, or perhaps the lifeless hunk of ice wanted to make the most of its time in the Milky Way system and doubled back to take in the scenery – Jupiter is very nice this time of solar orbit I’m told. Freedom and Independent touchdown.

Harry: Control, we have successfully landed.

NASA: Then why are our radars telling us you’re on the moon?

Harry:….Didn’t you say our target was the giant ball of rock?

NASA: Yes, the moving one!

Harry looks up to see the asteroid sailing smoothly overhead.

Harry: Who was in charge of the God damn map?!

Oscar: Sorry boss man, I was still waiting for the skin on my eyes to grow back after the hours we spent travelling in the wake of the Freedom’s flaming exhaust ports.

Harry: Huston, We’ve sort of already planted the nukes and armed them. What are the odds of us detonating the moon, and the blasted chunks knocking the asteroid out of its trajectory?

NASA: Don’t be ridiculous. What a moronic plan. Now hurry up and blow the meteorite into 2 perfect halves that’ll bypass us completely without fail.

Were I in Harry’s place I’d be tempted to take out the moon just to mess with the lunar gravity controlling the tides just to piss NASA off. Approaching the asteroid from behind has the benefit of ensuring the team isn’t hit full in the face by an extremely large object travelling at the speed of fan rage on the internet, but with the drawback of having to dodge the debris it sheds hurtling into their flight path. Independent is hit and crash lands. Fortunately, no one is harmed – so long as they are a part of the core cast. Red Shirt is instantly killed alongside the nameless NASA pilots, and Oscar dies from a helmet breach.

Bear: Be at peace cowboy.

AJ: Least he dies doing what he loved: chocking for air.

Bear: He was really more of a ranching guy, man.

AJ: Whatever, point is he went with dignity.

With no cannon fodder, pilots or plucky optimist, the remaining crew of Independent (Bear, AJ and Andropov) have to make it to the Freedom before AJ gets them killed in a way befitting Final Destination. Knowing AJ’s habit for making harmless situations deadly, and dangerous situations less appealing than going bare-back in a $5 whore with an anus filled with razor blades, there is a chance this is the side of the asteroid crawling with rock crabs or space spiders, so better haul ass fast. Team Freedom isn’t faring much better, landing 26 miles off-zone in a dense drill-proof magnetised field, making this thing as merciless as an obese Magneto with low blood sugar.

Drilling is out of the question after a 10ft dig busts up the drill head. With no more Owen Wilson up-beat reassurances moral is at a low for Team Freedom. Across the perilous asteroid AJ has commandeered the still miraculously functioning Armadillo buggy – not so much buggy as former Imperial Empire suppression tank turned geological survey carrier with a rotary cannon attached for…killing aliens? Shooting rocks? Giving Bay a chance to fire a fuck-off gun at some point in these last explosionless 10 minutes? Departing the wreckage, Team Independence heads for Freedom – not actual freedom as they need a functioning ship to escape, but once they have found Team Freedom they can steal the Freedom and escape to freedom, y’see?

Aboard the Freedom the Ridiculously Hot She-Pilot has restored partial radio functions. That’s good, now you can tell NASA and the President how screwed they are in person.

NASA Commander: How bad we talking Colonel Sharp?

Sharp: A real comedy of errors sir. We lost Independence before they even touched down, proceeded to crash land 26 miles from the designated area into a zone of highly magnetised iron deposits too thick to sufficiently drill through…

There comes an explosion from outside and the wet chomp of comfort eating from the Armadillo.

Sharp: And it sounds like Max just blew out the Armadillo.

NASA Commander: Any positive intel to report?

Sharp: No one’s seen AJ since we crashed.

NASA Commander: Better add motion sickness to the list of bad karma; the lunar gravity has affected the spin of the asteroid into 3 axis, meaning that even should you succeed in your mission there is a chance the hunks may still hit earth.

Sharp: Are you shitting me?! You mean the collective minds of NASA and the Pentagon couldn’t predict that an external gravitational force may play on the motion of this thing?!

NASA: That’s just a theory. If I’m wrong then may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow.

Not in the best of moods after this dialogue, Sharp returns to the motley crew operating outside.

Sharp: How we doing Harry.

Harry: Almost there.

Sharp: How almost there?

Harry: 57ft.

Sharp: 57ft of….?

Harry: *clears throat* 800.

Sharp: [deadly calm] I see. And how long has it taken you to dig this 57 of 800ft?

Harry: Well, first you gotta consider that space time is relative, and what with the magnets and such…

Sharp: HOW long?

Harry: 2.30 hours.

Sharp: 2 and a half hours to drill 1/16th of the way. By my watch that means you’ll be done by 7:15AM next Thursday. You and you men are the worst thing to happen to NASA since Tom Hanks in Apollo 13!

Harry:  <:O

Part 3: “I can save us all, but I’ll have to shoot most of us to do it”

Time is running out before the asteroid passes the zero barrier, at which point even if the bombs do explode without fail it’ll be too late for the debris to skirt around earth. The President has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to this asteroid and demands against all advice that the nukes be remote detonated immediately – if this works he’ll use the same policy on his anti-drugs campaign next electoral term. To say Team Freedom are surprised when the Hiroshima-grade nuclear warhead they are prepping suddenly activates would be an understatement of Green Lantern fail proportions.

Harry: Nameless NASA bomb guy!

Nameless NASA Bomb Guy: My name’s….

Harry: No time! Deactivate the bomb or we’ll never get a chance to explode it ourselves!

Sharp: That’s in direct disobedience of Presidential orders. I cannot let you do this.

Hound: Holy hell, he’s got a gun! Where’d the hell you get a gun?

Sharp: Bomb drone, stay away from that bomb or I will shoot you.

Harry: You shoot him, we all die.

Sharp: Don’t let me shoot him and I shoot you, then I shoot him, then we all die.

Chapel: Now I’m confused. If you shoot him the bomb goes off?

Sharp: Only if I shoot him before the bomb detonates.

Hound: Seriously, why do you have a gun? Why would you bring a gun?

Chapel: What if you shoot Harry, let that guy disarm the nuke, then shoot him?

Harry: Because I don’t want to be shot damit!

Sharp: Hold on Harry, he may be onto something here.

Harry: Nobody is shooting anybody before I get to kill AJ.

Nameless NASA Bomb Guy: I disarmed the nuke guys.

Harry/Sharp/Chapel: SHUT UP!

Congratulations Nameless NASA Bomb Guy, you averted disaster and allowed the team to continue their mission to blow up the bomb by stopping the bomb exploding. Now they can all look forward to the best case scenario of completing the mission and returning home where upon they’ll stand trial for disobeying Presidential orders, followed by imprisonment and public execution. There is still the issue of Captain Crazy Pants and his gun (Hound wonders why a militant patriot has a gun yet not why the drilling buggies are fitted with ROTARY CANONS). Via the diplomatic approach of persistent negotiations and a liberal application of giant wrench to the throat Harry disarms Colonel Sharp, completely thwarting the evil machinations of the President with the negative repercussion of disarming this one nuke priming every nuclear warhead on earth (if only life were that hilariously ironic). Hound is also coming down with space madness, bouncing on the nuclear warhead and firing a volley from the rotary cannon into the team as the Asteroid’s indoctrination transforms him into its puppet to its bidding.

It's all so obvious to me now

Independence has come to a vast chasm, the depths of despair Michael Clark Duncan and Affleck can never hope to escape – sorta like Daredevil, only without the dread of a poorly conceived Elektra spin-off.

Bear: That clinches it. May as well sit back and enjoy front row seats to the end of all life.

AJ: C’mon buttercup, where there’s a will there’s a way: a way for me to jeopardise our lives in a suicidal stunt. Remember of Evil Kinevil?

Andropov: I grew up in Soviet Russia then spent the collective years of the end of the Cold Var in planetary orbit. Vhy vould you ask me this?

Bear: All’s I remember is he died of diabetes in 2007. I don’t see how that helps.

AJ: Okay, forget the diabetes idea. New plan: We jump the gorge using the thrusters’ boosts.

Amazingly AJ’s plan works, even if the old AJ luck does send them careening into a mountain. Andropov goes outside to fix the leaking fuel lines in a manner reminiscent of R2D2’s shield repair in Star wars Episode I, saving them from drifting unstoppably into space. Good work AJ, you saved Team Independence. Shhhhhh, you hear that…? It’s the sound of the Chaos Butterfly flapping its wings of karma. Over at Freedom base camp Max accidentally drills into a gas pocket, the pressure blasting him and the mining craft into space so AJ may live in a cruel twist of cosmic balance. The resulting earthquake destroying most of the remaining equipment. As if to gloat for the turn of events in its favour, the asteroid sends a volley of rock to Paris, leaving the world press to wonder which stock-landmark city will be destroyed next. Hound is delighted by this, acting like that crazy Xenomorph zealot from Alien3 as the Reaper’s Indoctrination asteroids’ influence deepens, requiring him to be tied up and imprisoned on the Freedom (boom boom). When things seem they can get no worse AJ arrives (see, things can always get worse), bringing with him the fully functioning Armadillo which is of some comfort to Harry as they successfully drill to 800ft. In a strange turn of events, the seemingly sentient asteroid screams in rage and begins hurling meteors from its orbit in a baffling left-field attempt to preserve itself (the fuck!?) Hound was right; this thing is alive! All hail our new Overlord and Master!!!! Non essential characters who’d been silently lingering around the set are killed to up the stakes as all Hell breaks loose, forcing the surviving A-listers to shelter inside the Freedom. The remote detonator has been disabled by the rock storm, meaning one of them must stay behind to activate it. They bicker over who has the biggest balls as the testosterone-driven REAL MANLY MEN fight forthe right to die this most heroic of deaths, the only way they know how:

After several hours of this they are no closer to having a winner so decide to draw straws. AJ loses and the rest of sentient life wins. Harry walks him down to his final resting place, distraught that he never got to murder AJ himself but taking solace in him dying in a gigantic explosion in the cold vacuum of space and unable to be buried by Grace, when suddenly AJ stabs Harry in the leg and flees back inside.

Sharp: where’s Harry?

AJ: He…*gasp*…he decided to take my place *pant*…

Hound: Then why are you so out of breath? Did-did you run back in here?

Bear: And why are you covered in blood?

AJ: Details, meaningless detail. Now let’s leave so I can sex up Harry’s orphan-I mean daughter.

NASA patches Harry through to say goodbye to Grace.

Grace: Dad? I thought you said AJ was staying behind?

Harry: Yeah, he-erm-he left. I decided he should go and I should stay.

NASA Commander: Harry see reason; this guy fucked your daughter and stared in Jersey Girl!

Harry: I know, but I promised I’d send my little girl’s fiancé home. Not only must she suffer the rest of her life with that insufferable tool, but now there’s the added guilt of me heroically dying to ensure it happened. Commander, do me a favour; when they make a statue of me, make sure it includes AJ sucking my balls. Over and out.

Freedom has moments to take off and clear the blast radius large enough to forcefully divide a hunk of ice the size of Texas AND outrun the flying debris now travelling at speeds in excess of 5-star chilli travelling through the bowels of a weightlifter with IBS. The Asteroid tries to drop Harry into a precipice, yet Harry manages to detonate the bomb moments before it enters the zero barrier.

Mission accomplished. Instantaneously the world seems to descend into a George Harrison song as people come together and frolic in their new lease on life. No looting, rape, political power grabs, cannibalism nor the collapse of world organised religions as science triumphs over an embittered deity, as would happen in reality. Nope just a load of hugging, cheering and patriotic flag waving until the eagles choke and puke up lower taxes, before returning back into the soul destroying hum-drum office drone life of yesterday. Given how cheesy this is it surprises me that Harry fails to turn up at Grace/AJ’s wedding, having somehow survived this:

A Baysplosion so immense that even digitally it can only be done safely in the void of space.

But what of the TWO asteroids now hurtling through space, ready to destroy some other intelligent culture? Who cares, let that be the Snorg People of Gathorum’s problem. GO EARF!!!

The End

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