Sci-fi had a pretty good run in 2012 with marvelous additions to the genre’s lines, including Prometheus, Looper and Dredd. Now, 2013 promises to be even bigger, better and bolder with four head-spinners about to hit the screens next year. Not surprisingly, considering the alleged Mayan prediction about the end of the world, all of the upcoming features are set either in the dawn or in the aftermath of an apocalypse. So, in the event of an apocalypse, here are some practical lessons.
Lesson 1: Fun is fun and done is done, just don’t forget about it!
First up is Oblivion (UK release date: 12 April 2013), an epic-looking sci-fi, set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, in which Jack (Tom Cruise) is entrusted with the cleanup from a devastating war between humans and aliens. However, things get more complicated when Mr. Cruise encounters Morgan Freeman’s rebel leader, and when people start literally falling from the sky, including gorgeous ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, whose mysterious character seems to know Jack. And although the premise seems simple enough and the story is somewhat familiar due to resemblance to Michael Bay’s The Island (2005), Oblivion’s trailer suggests that this survival tale will most likely pan out in a much more complex and thrilling way than we would have thought. Add to this Tom Cruise (Personal note: Last night I attended an advance screening of Jack Reacher (review to follow in due course), and my, my, my…do I have a new-found respect for Tom!!!), and Morgan Freeman, who is always a safe bet (being God and all), and Oblivion is looking like a film which is less than likely to be sinking into oblivion!
Lesson 2: Don’t piss Benedict Cumberbatch off – he will bring the apocalypse not only upon Earth, but upon the whole galaxy!
Next stop on the sci-fi express is J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated Star Trek sequel – Star Trek: Into Darkness (UK release date: 17 May 2013), which finds everyone from the Enterprise crew returning for the second film, with some additions to the cast, including Alice Eve’s Carol Marcus (Kirk’s love interest), and new baddie John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Unfortunately, as epic as the trailer looks, Hollywood tends to have a poor experience with regard to sequels, with most of them turning out to be absolute flops. But then again you have those shining rays of hope, represented by the likes of Spider-Man 2 (2004) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), so let’s hope for the best! Moreover, after witnessing Benedict Cumberbatch work his magic in the British series Sherlock, he appears to be more than equipped to deliver a much more compelling villain than Eric Bana’s Nero ever was. (Personal note: He better, since because of his commitment to the film, the new Sherlock season filming and release have been postponed to late 2013 or early 2014!!!)
Lesson 3: Like father, like son – when everything else fails, call on The Smiths!
The No. 3 sci-fi blockbuster of 2013 title goes to sci-fi drama After Earth (UK release date: 7 June 2013), in which hot father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith crash-land on a dangerous planet inhabited by bloodthirsty predators. Yep, you have guessed it: the planet in question is post-apocalyptic Earth, albeit a different kind of post-apocalyptic than presented by Oblivion. Instead of deserted, Earth here is very much full of alive…things. No time to rejoice, however, since as Smith Sr. puts it: “Everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans.” Would this mean we will get an I Am Legend reminiscent feature, where the majority of the action will revolve around these two single characters trying to fend off the carnivorous attackers? This remains to be seen, but even if it is so, the film would surely benefit from the natural chemistry between the real father and son.
Lesson 4: You can always try to “cancel the apocalypse” – just ask Idris Elba!
Number 4 on the list is Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (UK release date: 12 July 2013), which finds Earth in the turmoil of an alien attack, which surprisingly comes from within the Pacific Ocean – from “a portal between dimensions”. Of course, humanity has learnt its lesson since Godzila, so our kind gets to face this even bigger kaiju threat with the help of giant man-made robots, operated by the dream team of Sons of Anarchy’s hottie Charlie Hunnam, Luther’s bad-ass Idris Elba, and Hellboy himself Ron Perlman. The scale of the movie looks massive, the hardware of our heroes – able to withstand monstrous assaults, and we can definitely borrow Idris Elba’s inspirational speech in hour of need. Now let’s just hope that the government is indeed working on such metal guardians, should we need them to come to our rescue!