The moon is about to destroy mankind this February or to be exact, on February 3rd, which also happens to be the third day of Chinese New Year. And here, we are talking about none other than Roland Emmerich’s upcoming disaster movie called “Moonfall”. Before the movie is set to hit the big screen, here’s our pick of 8 Thrilling Disaster Movies Like “Moonfall” worth revisiting.
1) Independence Day (1996)
The less said about the unnecessary sequel of “Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016) the better. Just stick with the 1996 original and you will do just fine. “Independence Day” or stylised as “ID4” famously placed Roland Emmerich as the go-to Hollywood guy for making large-scale disaster movies. It was also one of the best summer blockbusters ever produced, blending tremendous special effects (e.g. the iconic destructions of the White House and the Empire State Building) and entertaining characters (Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are the MVPs here).
2) Dante’s Peak (1997)
Then-James Bond star Pierce Brosnan took a brief detour from his 007 duties between “GoldenEye” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” in favour of playing a volcanologist for a change in “Dante’s Peak”. The movie involves a volcano eruption, where both special effects and action sequences are equally top-notch. Brosnan and “Terminator” veteran Linda Hamilton deliver overall decent performances here, where the latter plays the town’s mayor.
3) Deep Impact (1998)
Around two months before the similarly-themed movie “Armageddon” hit the big screen, there was “Deep Impact”. Except for a significant difference that “Deep Impact” involves a comet while the latter is about an asteroid. Here, the movie focuses more on the emotional drama but it’s effective enough, thanks to the great ensemble cast (among them includes Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood and Robert Duvall). This, in turn, made the subsequent disaster sequence, where the comet finally passes the Earth, feel genuinely impactful.
4) Armageddon (1998)
Personally, I’m not a big fan of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, even when it was so popular back in the day. That song, of course, served as the main theme for Michael Bay’s big-budget disaster movie, “Armageddon”. That aside, the movie proves to be a hugely entertaining blockbuster, if you don’t mind the preposterous plot. And that is the suspend-your-disbelief concept of oil drillers (led by Bruce Willis’ Harry S. Stamper) being tasked to save the world by drilling the asteroid in outer space and detonating it with a nuclear bomb. Big-scale action sequences are where Michael Bay excels the most and Bruce Willis made quite an impression leading the role in “Armageddon”.
5) The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Way before Jake Gyllenhaal played Mysterio in “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, he starred as Jack Hall, a paleoclimatologist who finds himself caught in the end-of-the-world scenario. A new ice age, to be exact following a massive climate change. “The Day After Tomorrow” has great special effects all around (the tidal waves sequence in New York City comes to mind), coupled with Roland Emmerich’s engaging direction.
6) 2012 (2009)
There was a time when the Mayan calendar predicted that 2012 would be the end of the world. Well, that didn’t happen. But it still didn’t stop then-20th Century Fox deciding to pump big money (we’re talking about USD200 million!) into making this an ultimate disaster epic. Not surprisingly, Roland Emmerich was the man for the job and likewise, he knows well how to stage a huge visual spectacle. The story may have been implausible but at least the larger-than-life destruction scenes are epic enough to keep you occupied.
7) The Impossible (2012)
“The Impossible” may have focused more on the family drama and the grim aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. But the movie packs enough emotional weight and even gets an extra boost from a terrific cast, notably Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Then, there’s Tom Holland (yes, that Tom Holland), who was only 16 years old at the time and he already proved his worth as a promising talent in his first film debut. Credit also goes to the remarkable special effects that vividly recreated the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami sequence.
8) San Andreas (2015)
A massive earthquake hits the state of California and it’s up to Chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) and his ex-wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) to save their daughter. And to do so, they have to endure a treacherous journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco. “San Andreas” is a triumph in the technical department, notably the special effects that look immensely spectacular on the big screen. This includes everything from the huge earthquake sequence to a series of aftershocks and tsunami waves, all of which are convincingly rendered to utmost thrilling results.
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