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The Boston Globe


Apocalyptic films loom large, but heroes and hilarity may rescue us

Ah, summer: time to lie back, pour yourself a tall lemonade, and watch the world go to hell in a handbasket. If there is a theme to the studio blockbusters coming out between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it is that Apocalypse is nigh, is here, or has already happened.

Consider: In “After Earth,” arriving in June, Will and Jaden Smith play futuristic father-and-son adventurers stranded on Earth 1,000 years after it was abandoned by the human race. In the same month’s “World War Z,” a heroic UN employee (Brad Pitt) is the only person who can stop a global zombie pandemic. July sees “Pacific Rim” from “Pan’s Labyrinth” director Guillermo del Toro, in which monsters from beneath the sea assault humanity and we respond by building ginormous robots (think “Transformers” meets “Godzilla” with a sense of style).

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