The Summer of Doom: Season's biggest movies include explosive blockbusters, apocalyptic thrillers

Season's biggest movies include explosive blockbusters, apocalyptic thrillers

Idris Elba stars in the summer’s most-promising sci-fi apocalyptic disaster flick with “Pacific Rim,” directed by Guillermo Del Toro.

Photo by Kerry Hayes, © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC

Idris Elba stars in the summer’s most-promising sci-fi apocalyptic disaster flick with “Pacific Rim,” directed by Guillermo Del Toro.

Michelle Rodriguez, left, and Vin Diesel star in “Fast & Furious 6.”

Photo by Giles Keyte

Michelle Rodriguez, left, and Vin Diesel star in “Fast & Furious 6.”

Contrary to the Mayan calendar, which had Dec. 21, 2012, penciled in as the day everything was to go ka-boom, we’re all still all here.

But at the movies, the apocalypse is now.

Take a look through the films premiering between next weekend — when “Iron Man 3” explodes on a zillion screens, kick-starting Hollywood’s summer season — and Labor Day weekend. Doom and gloom are everywhere, from global holocaust to alien invasions to putting Jay Gatsby and Jay-Z in the same movie.

Here are some of the anticipated biggies (as always, dates are subject to change):

“The Great Gatsby” (May 10): “It takes two to make an accident,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his Roaring Twenties novel. Let’s hope Aussie auteur Baz Luhrmann hasn’t made a gigantic, expensive accident with his 3-D, Jay-Z-soundtracked spectacle. The cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio (Gatsby), Carey Mulligan (Daisy), and Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway). This is the fourth adaptation of the 1925 classic, the fifth if you count the 2000 TV movie, and none has pulled it off. PG-13

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17): No punctuation, no “the,” just “Star Trek Into Darkness” — can’t get more streamlined than that. J.J. Abrams is back in the director’s chair, Chris Pine back in the captain’s chair, and Zoe Saldana (Uhuru), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov) all back on the Enterprise’s bridge. Benedict Cumberbatch is the new nemesis, although Trekker rumors abound that he actually is playing Khan, the wrathful superhuman of the 1982 “Star Trek” film. PG-13

“Fast & Furious 6” (May 24): “You’re talking vehicular warfare,” Vin Diesel says, as only Vin Diesel can, in the trailer for the fifth sequel in the ridiculously successful stunt-driving series. This time, Dwayne Johnson needs Dom and crew to squash a rogue special-ops team. And Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was killed two movies ago, miraculously returns. PG-13

“The Hangover Part III” (May 24): We know from the trailer that a giraffe meets a grisly end. And we know that Zach Galifianakis is just plain grisly. The third and promised final installment in the male-bonding screwball nightmare finds Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, et al, back where it all began — in Las Vegas. And then they’re off to Tijuana and other places where the Wolfpack can run wild, and run amok. R

“After Earth” (May 31): Humankind has relocated to a new planet after an apocalypse lays ruin to Earth. But then Will and Jaden Smith, sometime in the 31st century, crash-land back on the old orb, now seemingly devoid of human life — except for moviemaker M. Night Shyamalan, telling the movie-star father-and-son duo what to do from his director’s chair. PG-13

“This Is the End” (June 12): Adapted from the post-”Knocked Up” short “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse,” a squad of comedy stars — Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Michael Cera — head over to James Franco’s house for a giant party, then have to face the end of the world and “Harry Potters’” Hermione — Emma Watson, wielding an ax. R

“Man of Steel” (June 14): Superman gets an epic reboot from Zac (“300”) Snyder, with Henry Cavill as the new Clark Kent, alias you-know-who, and the whole Krypton-to-Earth origin story retold, with Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as the respective patriarchs. PG-13

“Monsters University” (June 21): Pixar’s prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” finds Mike (voice of Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) on a college campus, and not exactly the best of buds. Then the bromance begins. PG

“World War Z” (June 21): Brad Pitt’s zombie pandemic epic, adapted from the Max Brooks books, has been plagued with bad press from the get-go. So, maybe it’ll surprise us, and maybe Glasgow really does look like Philadelphia (for which it doubled in this Marc Forster-directed flick). PG-13

“The Heat” (June 28): Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy join forces in this distaff buddy-cop comedy from the director of “Bridesmaids.” Bullock’s an FBI agent, McCarthy a Beantown police detective. Neither has any social skills, or friends. R

“The Lone Ranger” (July 3): Johnny Depp has long claimed to have American Indian blood, so the idea of the rapscallion star wearing war paint and feathers isn’t entirely ridiculous. Armie Hammer is the lawman-turned-outlaw in the white hat and black mask who partners with Tonto to tame the West. Gore Verbinski, Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” collaborator, directs. PG-13

“Pacific Rim” (July 12): Of all the summer’s sci-fi apocalyptic disaster pics, this (from “Pan’s Labyrinth” director Guillermo Del Toro) looks the most promising. The alien invasion this time comes from “a portal between dimensions in the Pacific Ocean.” Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman star. PG-13

“The Wolverine” (July 26): The sixth installment in “The X-Men” series finds Jean Valjean — make that Hugh Jackman — paying a visit to Japan, where the mutant with the retractable claws and the superhuman ability to heal himself meets up with the Silver Samurai and a wild bunch of Yakuzas. PG-13

“2 Guns” (Aug. 2): Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are DEA and Naval Intelligence, respectively — undercover agents who don’t know the other guy is an undercover agent. Crazy heists, shootouts, car chases, and wisecracking follow. R

“Elysium” (Aug. 9): It’s the middle of the 22nd century, and the rich and powerful have moved on from the rubble and ruin of Earth to settle in a place with no war, poverty or disease. Which leaves everybody else to fight among themselves, until Matt Damon comes along to start some trouble. From Neill Blomkamp, director of another haves and have-nots sci-fi allegory, “District 9” (not yet rated).

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