Movie Mom

The summer thrill ride movie is becoming as much of a 4th of July tradition as the picnic and the fireworks, and the 1998 version is “Armageddon,” the second movie of the year about a meteor headed toward earth. While the plot line is predictable (think “Dirty Dozen” crossed with “The Right Stuff”) and concocted almost by recipe (take one tough but lovable hero — Bruce Willis in his “Die Hard” mode — and add in a lovably diverse group of misfits, then wisecracks to taste and just a touch of sentiment and a dash of young love for seasoning), the 10-14 year olds in your household (and the 10-14 year old in many of us) will find that it delivers as a summer explosion movie. Parents should know that there are a few sexual references (one major conflict is that the main character’s daughter is sleeping with one of his men) and some strong language, but it is the intensity of the action that is the real cause of the PG-13 rating. Parents should also note that several major characters die. The age recommendation is only for kids who enjoy that kind of roller-coaster style excitement. Families should also discuss some of the moral questions that arise as people have to take risks and make sacrifices for the greater good.

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