Judgment Day (1999) — The day Ice-T saved us from armageddon

“I didn’t create this asteroid — God did. I’m just making sure it reaches its destination.”

Justin’s rating: Gangsta’s Halfway Paradise

Justin’s review: It’s not a good day for Planet Earth. For starters, a 14 mile-wide asteroid’s been knocked off its normal course and now has an intimate date with terra firma in the near future. Humanity’s only hope is a program — or a new brand of deodorant — called SpaceGuard that can nuke the incoming threat. Unfortunately for all of us and the continuation of Shark Week, the sole cardigan-wearing scientist who heads up the comet killer gets kidnapped by an apocalypse cult leader (Mario Van Peebles, Solo) determined to see the world end once and for all.

I mean, it seems a little short-sighted to limit access to a planet-saving weapon to a single person, but we must make allowances for stupid plot contrivances. We must also sit on our hands and be good and not ask why the cultists kidnapped the scientist rather than killed him outright — even though they want every single person on the planet to die. We need only be concerned with the giant chunk of rock that’s about to fall on our heads and the one guy who needs to be rescued to save us all.

In any case, the rescue squad in Judgment Day — the only thing standing between us and being pulverized — is the mean mom from Titanic and an actor who once played a kangaroo dude in Tank Girl. Suzy Amis is a plucky FBI agent, while Ice-T is a former member of the cult who’s yanked out of prison to help.

What follows is kind of an odd buddy cop pairing (even though half of the pairing is felon) as the two go on a charming road trip, get some chicken and waffles, enjoy a fashion makeover, a parking lot meet up with Coolio, and random hot tub shootings.

There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing the potential of a premise undercut by lackluster resources, camera work, and pacing. Judgment Day should’ve done more with the “world is about to end” concept, but since nobody but a handful of feds find out about the threat, everyone’s pretty ignorant until San Francisco is obliterated by cheap late ’90s computer effects.

So the scifi angle is pretty minimal while the story is carried by a third-tier action star who goes through every scene with the attitude of “I used to be in much better films than this!” I honestly lost count of the times that I was banging my head on the desk while listening to this movie raise the question of why nobody knows about this threat and why the entire country isn’t mobilizing to rescue their only hope — and then not answering it to any satisfactory degree.

It’s completely unbelievable that a world-threatening threat would be handled on such a small scale — especially right after Deep Impact and Armageddon came out. As much as I tried to have fun on an ironic level with this flick, I mostly was counting down the minutes for its pointless existence to end.


  • Well that town got obliterated by bad special effects
  • SpaceGuard!
  • Don’t play phone keepaway with a FBI agent
  • Anti-matter weapons? Are we on Star Trek?
  • This movie is way too much in love with facial close-ups
  • Grenade launcher! *cops shout “wheee” as they fly into the air*
  • Pen in the hand, ouch
  • Yeah, why isn’t there a whole army of feds on this kidnapping? That’s a GOOD QUESTION that’s never answered.
  • “We can’t! You’re a demon!”
  • Chicken and waffles at the SAME TIME? You madman.
  • I am not as impressed as this movie is with the latest Nokia cell phone
  • It’s Coolio!
  • Why keep showing us the time of day in title cards rather than, oh, a countdown to impact?
  • Texas doesn’t have to deal with crap

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