The world may be emerging from a global challenge, but film-makers are still determined to show the bad side of what is going on. We are still very vulnerable emotionally and financially, but creativity will prevail in film-making, where independent voices can thrive, even if resources remain low.
One initiative pioneered through the London Screenwriters Festival has been to create an opportunity to get an IMDb credit for writers and get content out there. The result is Chris Jones’ new film THE IMPACT, which poses a very simple question:
“What would you do if you had less than two hours to live given the imminent impact of an earth-killing asteroid?”.
This is the conundrum that the residing President of the USA (Olivia Williams) reveals to the world (in an opening scene of 140 minutes of screen time written by legendary screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (BASIC INSTINCT)). Nothing will survive once the asteroid strikes ninety-seven minutes from this broadcast. From then on, we are welcomed into the soon-to-end worlds of around fifty unrelated but common stories of desperation, love, resolution and conspiracy as couples, families, children and others make their final bows in the world.
It is a series of stories that are emotional, heart-breaking and emotional as people attempt to reconnect and stay in sync with their fellow people, left where they are with no escape from the global event. There are no oil workers taking off to detonate a device to divert it and in fact the spectacular effects that emerged in Michael Bay’s ARMAGEDDON and Mimi Leder’s DEEP IMPACT in the late 1990s movies are only touched upon in slight visuals.
This is where THE IMPACT has considerably more weight that those two films as a tone that shows less sentiment, thanks to the focus on the more grounded relationships on show here. Also look for a final performance in one of the segments from John Challis (Boycie in ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES) before his recent death, as the film was filmed before the pandemic happened.
THE IMPACT is a solid combination of stories and soul-searching, but be prepared to carry a tissue or two in a film that is competent, but can feel a little down-beat given the idea at its’ heart. The finality of the story may make you feel a little downcast, but the initiative behind its’ creation will certainly be an inspiration to many film-making talent on the cusp of proper success in the business.
It also proves that simplicity over complex plot and visuals and limited resources can lead to end products that can yield more interesting results, coupled with clever edits and subtler visuals and performances. A sequence on board the International Space Station creates another layer of emotion as we see participants looking down on what is soon-to-be-left of their home world in a sequence that heightens the other emotions in the film.
Watch Film And TV Now’s interview with Chris Jones HERE