Tuesday, December 18 2012
Three trailers were shown for the first time this week for post-apocalyptic sci-fi films. Ironically all of them are being released after the world is supposed to end on Friday.
Pacific Rim, After Earth, and Oblivion are all out next year and it seems as if destroying most of the world's population will be the in theme for filmmakers in 2013.
Of the three, Pacific Rim, easily looks like it will be the best. Directed by the Hobbit-spurning Guillermo Del Toro, the film is set in a future where a portal between dimensions has appeared in the middle of The Pacific Ocean, through which sky-scraper sized monsters emerge to destroy the planet. Humanity fights back by creating huge robots piloted by pairs of soldiers. I was sold on the concept alone but the trailer makes it look like Transformers meets Godzilla - but actually good.
Oblivion stars Tom Cruise as some kind of engineer who returns to Earth after it has been destroyed in a war with aliens. It could go either way but certainly seems worth a watch when it comes out next year.
M Night Shyamalan's efforts have been on a downward trajectory in terms of quality since Unbreakable, which is why his latest, After Earth, should probably be approached with caution. Then again it stars Will Smith and his son Jaden as on-screen father and son exploring a desolate earth so maybe their charisma alone will make up for it.
The trend is reminiscent of the handful of scorched-earth, Armageddon sci-fis that came out a few years ago around the same time - The Road, The Book of Eli and Terminator Salvation to name a few. Perhaps those films reflected the bleak mood of the time; if so, then it seems we are still slightly obsessed with the end of the world.