Sometimes I wonder how far can Hollywood push the grandiosity of a world catastrophe before the viewers scream in disbelief and leave the theaters. Well, it appears that just as it is nearly impossible to create a half-witty artificial intelligence, it is just as nearly impossible to underestimate the limits of natural stupidity.
When I saw Armageddon (1998), I thought this is just about it. OK, an asteroid the size of Texas might hit the Earth. Granted. It is also marginally possible that a nuke can do something to a fragile rock, even if its surface is iron-clad. And perhaps most people wouldn’t notice the physically impossible fits the technology performs in the movie.
But a rock size of Texas is not even peanuts compared to the Moon – yes, our own bloody Moon going off orbit on a collision course with Earth (Impact, 2008). And guess what? Turns out, even though human race does not have enough technology to destroy the Moon (they tried, believe me), at least we can put the Moon back in orbit. Wow… A rebellious neutrino from the Sun that heats up Earth’s core (2012, 2009) sounds like a pathetic inconvenience compared to that.
OK, asteroid and the Moon are hard core (I mean, geologically). But what about a more fluid version? How about The Core (2003) where the Earth’s core stops spinning. Yes, you heard it right. The entire Earth’s core, the unimaginable mass of liquid metal – stopped spinning. Just like that. Hear the brakes squeal? Wham! And who did it? Oh, the US military, of course! It was their secret weapon that, ahem, misfired. Well, if humans can stop a mass the size of a planet from spinning, sure they can jump-start it again. Can they?
But are the rogue Moon and the lazy planet core our biggest enemies? Try again. Apparently even those pale (literally!) in comparison to Sunshine (2007). Here’s the one-liner: “A team of astronauts are sent to re-ignite the dying sun 50 years into the future.” Got it? Re-ignite – what? – yes, THE SUN!
Try to beat that… Any takers?