Summer is coming, and that means robots, teleportation, antimatter bombs, dinosaurs, an elite high-tech fighting force, fictional metals with unearthly properties … we love it!
Here’s a look at the Hollywoodified science hitting the big screen this summer, complete with our highly scientific Expected Gibberish Quotient (EGQ).
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
This prequel reveals how Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) acquired his steel-gouging claws and indestructible skeleton. Geek Candy: The surgery scene, in which the fast-healing mutant is lowered into liquid to fuse his bones with the fictional metal adamantium, incorporates present-day robotic surgery techniques to make it look and feel more real. EGQ: Low. The characters don’t theorize about their magic-power-granting genetic mutations; they just try to kill each other. In theaters: May 1.
We start in the future. An alien time-travels from that future’s future and alters key events. In the resulting past, we watch Kirk and crew come together as younger, better-looking space adventurers. In the future. Geek Candy: Artificial gravity, a new spin on teleportation, phasers and a black-hole bomb. Oh, and Kirk gets into a bar fight — possibly with aliens. EGQ: Off the charts. This franchise practically invented tech gibberish, or Treknobabble, and the writers have promised plenty more. In theaters: May 8.
Angels and Demons
When Robert Langdon, the puzzle-solving hero of The Da Vinci Code, is summoned to the European physics lab CERN to investigate the death of a physicist, he uncovers a secret plot against the Catholic Church. Geek Candy: The Large Hadron Collider is the backdrop — ’nuff said. EGQ: Medium. The book’s plot hinges on a bomb made from a gram of antimatter, but CERN’s real antimatter expert, Rolf Landua, says, “We’re not even making a billionth of a billionth of a gram.” In theaters: May 15.
The machines have prevailed, humans are fighting for survival, and the Governator has hung up his shotgun, leaving rebel leader John Connor (Christian Bale) to secure the future of mankind on his own. Geek Candy: A full-on rendering of the machine-run, dystopian future, complete with freakishly cool autonomous motorcycles. EGQ: Medium. The film unveils new details about the origins of the humanity-hating Terminators. In theaters: May 21.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The protective Autobots and evil Decepticons . . . blah blah . . . robots! Geek Candy: More hot transforming vehicles, including an SR-71 Blackbird and a Chevy Volt. And the bridge-crushing behemoth in the trailer is most likely Devastator, a Decepticon made of several Constructicon ‘bots combined. EGQ: High. The filmmakers didn’t consult robotics experts, so any technical talk about the ‘bots is probably blather. In theaters: June 24.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
The misfit band led by Manny the woolly mammoth follows Sid the sloth into an underground world of dinosaurs. Geek Candy: The animators met with paleontologists for lessons on dinosaur mechanics. But given the kid-flick factor, they also had to humanize the beasts, so don’t expect textbook physiology. EGQ: Low, but the implausibility factor is astronomical. No, children, woolly mammoths did not butt heads with T. rex. In theaters: July 1.
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
An elite high-tech fighting force made up of soldiers with silly names is called upon to stop a shady international arms dealer. Geek Candy: The studio is as secretive about the film as the U.S. government is about the existence of the real G.I. Joe team, but early reports suggest plenty of futuristic tech and surveillance equipment. EGQ: Unknown. But the mysterious green mist we saw topple the Eiffel Tower hints that some of the weapons will be pure fantasy. In theaters: August 7.