WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As IMDB will testify, there are many kinds of apocalypses out there but let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a quantum apocalypse. It just sounds like the world will end a lot more stylishly and hardcore than with other kinds of apocalypses. To this movie’s credit there are only a few points where you actually wish the world would end rather than have the movie carry on which, in this sub-genre, is quite something. It’s full of strange characters saving the world that, if this were to actually happen, would leave me rather concerned about humanity’s future but, since that’s not the case, we can all just sick back, relax and watch the world be vacuumed slightly to the left.
The end of the world all began one evening in a dark and geeky control room. The good people of the USSA (what I understand to be the movie’s rough equivalent of NASA) are monitoring a comet making its way through our stellar neighbourhood and about to make a flyby of Mars. Everything’s going fine until one moment when the scientists turn their backs and this mischievous comet decides it wants to take a sharp right in space. This puts it on a direct collision path with Mars where it proceeds to blow about a third of the planet into space. Everyone’s obviously concerned because now there’s an awful lot of Mars floating around and they need to make sure that none of it’s heading our way. One scientist has a brief flash of genius when he suggests that, while monitoring the pieces of Mars, it might also be interesting to find out what caused the comet to veer off course so suddenly and catastrophically.
To this end the apparently wanting-in-the-genius-department people of the USSA bring in Trish Zane and Tom Lively. These two are the rock stars of the scientific community and the only ones able to figure out what the strange purple half-octopus flying around Earth is. Deciding that very few people would know what a strangelet is the movie decides to go with that. In this instance it’s basically a much better coordinated and far more purple black hole with limited suction. This thing is slowly making its way towards Earth and its effects will gradually become worse. First it’ll be the usual things like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes with certain areas experiencing localised anti-gravity and, when it eventually reaches Earth, the entire planet will be sucked in and its matter deconstructed and rearranged. I, personally, was hoping it would be rearranged into a beautiful floral tapestry but since I had no control over how the movie progressed I powered on.
It’s agreed on by the rock star scientists, regular scientists and the movie’s decidedly white American president that, should the purple strangelet reach us, we’re all pretty fucked. There’s 31 hours until it strikes (a time which doesn’t change for the greater part of the movie) and someone needs to devise a plan on how to stop the thing. This is where the other half of the movie’s characters will come in. Ben, his wife Lynne, !!!AUTISTIC!!! brother Terry and kids Leo and Samantha are just a normal American family trying to hold it all together as the world comes to an end. Terry, however, knows a lot about astronomy and might just know how to halt the purple octopus’ advance on Earth. Now he just needs to convince his family and the American government that he has a vague idea of what he’s talking about.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The Oval Office is just for show. The president’s real office is only marginally bigger than a broom cupboard.
- Mayors answer to no one.
- Cars owned by high school students automatically smell like mildew.
- Al-Qaeda and the Chinese are always suspects when dark matter black holes appear in space.
- Anti-smoking rules do not change just because the world’s coming to an end.
- 3 nuclear missiles are enough to cause a polar shift.
- There will come a day when we all look back on Earth’s near destruction and laugh.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Great balls of fire, what a load of crap! Not one to do things by half measures I felt that End of the World Month had to be kicked off with a bang, so I present to you Meteor Apocalypse. This is, quite honestly, one of the most painful movies I have seen to date; the acting is sub par, the effects are barely passable, there are plot holes bigger than the meteorites and, to top it all off, it’s boring as hell. I actually had to watch this movie over two evenings because it got to the point where I was so bored watching it I wanted to rip my eyes out. Watch at your own peril.
We’re thrown right in at the deep end with this one. Following a brief credit sequence we find ourselves looking at Earth with a giant comet heading right towards us. In order to redirect it every country in the world that has nuclear weapons opens fire at the comet. The people at NSA (the National Space Administration) are fairly certain that the nukes will break up the comet and redirect any debris away from the planet. The nukes take about 30 seconds to travel pass the moon and hit the comet, resulting in a spectacular display as the destructive intruder is blown to kingdom come. Sadly this is the only part of the prediction NSA got right and now the comet is still heading towards us, just in much smaller fragments.
So now we have hundreds of thousands of meteorites descending to Earth at a rather rapid pace and one crashes into the aptly named Lake of Fire. This is just the first meteorite to crash into a body of water and very quickly the water supply becomes contaminated and people start to fall violently ill. Now let’s all stop for a moment and think back a bit: the comet was hit by dozens of nuclear warheads so logic would dictate that the subsequent meteorites are irradiating the water supply, right? Wrong. The meteorites are putting some kind of pathogen in the water and that’s what’s making people so ill. Now, if the meteorites are putting a pathogen in the water it would seem to imply that some form of microbial life was living on the comet. Thankfully, to save the movie from being embarrassed, it never seems to realise this and just plods along like there’s nothing wrong.
Of course an end of the world movie is nothing if there isn’t a family being torn apart by all the chaos and destruction going on around them. Here’s where David, Kate and Alison come in. Alison was one of the first people to fall ill from the contaminated water supply and, in the initial panic, the CDC (Centres for Disease Containment) decided to quarantine anyone suffering from the sickness and Kate, her mother, was dragged along for the ride. Now David, a humble worker for the water supply company, must travel through the country trying desperately to find his wife and daughter. He’s joined by Lynn, a lovely woman he saved from dying as a result of drinking a contaminated Pepsi. This won’t be a simple journey: the government’s not saying where the sick people are, meteorites are falling in huge clumps at regular intervals, gangs of people are roaming around hunting down anyone they suspect of having clean water and, at some point, another huge comet rocked up out of nowhere and is going to collide with Los Angeles in the next 3 days.
It sounds like it should be an adrenaline-fueled ride against all the odds, but it really isn’t.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- After the age of 12 the legal weight of a pinky promise drastically decreases.
- In times of crisis excessive ass whipping will keep the population under control.
- The symptoms of meteorite-borne pathogens largely mirror the onset of an epileptic fit.
- The after effects of meteorite-borne pathogens feels similar to motion sickness you get on Disney Land rides.
- When a woman starts throwing up constantly chances are she’s not fine.
- Vaccines will either cure you or make you die an even more horrific death.
- Meteors and comets cause auroras wherever they appear.
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