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Science fiction is a genre that can do a great number of things. It can change our perception of the universe. It can provide scathing satirical commentary on modern society. It can make us question the very meaning of being human. But sometimes you don’t want to expand your perspective with mind blowing new concepts and questions about the nature of the universe. Sometimes you just want to see some monsters and some robots fighting on a spaceship until it explodes.
These are those films. They may not be what you call “hard” science fiction, but they do guarantee a great time. And there are some cool ideas mixed in along the way.
Guardians of the Galaxy
We expect that if we do this article again a decade from now we’ll be able to fill it entirely with Chris Pratt movies (The Lego Movie also just missed the cut on this one). We only allowed ourselves the one Marvel movie for this piece, and this is it. It has all the fun, action and character of the good Star Wars films, and unlike some space movies we could mention, it’s not afraid to show us the weirdness of outer space. Plus, frankly, we’ve had the soundtrack playing on a loop since it came out.
The world is frozen. The only survivors are the passengers on board a train on a track that circumnavigates the globe. The passengers at the front of the train live in lavish luxury, the passengers at the back live in absolute poverty, and the children apparently have to walk to school through a 24 hour a day drugs rave. Yes, the world building isn’t the most thorough we’ve seen, but by God this film is a lot of fun.
Every kid wants to go to space when they grow up. That dream never really leaves us. Until we see this film. Audiences came out of this film clinging onto the surface of the planet Earth for dear life. After decades of space movies that depict outer space as somewhere between a World War II dogfight and 17th century naval manoeuvres, it’s genuinely shocking to find a film that depicts space as having no up or down, no noisy explosions, and a heap load of danger not from aliens or robots, but from space itself.
We’ve yet to see whether Jurassic World is going to live up to the hype, but early signs are that at the very least this film is going to be one hell of a ride. Loads of huge dinosaurs, Chris Pratt leading a velociraptor biker gang, and the “Indominus Rex” super dinosaur, whatever happens during, you won’t miss it at Cineworld!
One of the great injustices in science fiction over the last 10 years is that this film never got a sequel, and then another sequel, and then launched an entire shared cinematic universe. Most of us were still bitter after the last attempt to make a Judge Dredd movie turned out to be a Sylvester Stallone/Rob Schneider buddy movie.
But this was a gritty movie with actual grit. No world-ending stakes here, this is a movie about Dredd trying to arrest one perp, and fighting his way through a single tower block to get to her. Go and watch it again now!