• James Lane

Top Five “Save the World” Movies of All Time!

By James Lane Reichenbach, Ph.D., MBA, Founder and CEO, American Reveille LLC

In the realm of the top five “anything,” the person creating the list must stick with a certain set of principles and criteria. These criteria must then be applied evenly across the available data in order to demonstrate a fair and logical rating process. Dave Portnoy has his “One Bite” pizza rating system, and I have my special movie rating system. I have chosen to rate the top five “Save the World” movies based on the level of danger facing the Earth and the unlikeliness of the hero/heroes to actually save the day. We start with one of my all-time favorites, Predator!


5. Predator

In a world full of SOBs who “ain’t got time to bleed,” Predator stands tall among few! We are whisked to Costa Rica, where a crack special forces rescue team is tricked into tracking a vicious space alien in a terrible game of who’s hunting who. Arnold Schwarzenegger's one-liners are classic and without a major injection of testosterone, this alien could have destroyed much more than Jessie Ventura’s chest cavity. Predator makes number 5 on the list because the bad guys and good guys are all badasses and though a small nuclear weapon was detonated, the world wasn’t in immediate danger. Next on the list the stakes for humanity are slightly higher! Can you unplug from the Matrix?


4. The Matrix

There is no spoon! There isn’t that much of a problem either! Yes, the world is destroyed. Yes, robots use humans as batteries. And yes, humanity is completely enslaved, but in the immortal words of Henry Winkler in ‘The Waterboy,’ “What momma don’t know, won’t hurt her!” Is there really a problem? I mean yes, life sucks for the few thousand folks doing cave dances in Zion, but for everyone else, they’re asleep in the simulation! One could argue that it may be better to keep everyone asleep. Even in the movie, Lawrence Fishburne apologizes to Keanu Reeve, explaining they don’t free minds past a certain age. Whoa, Neo, you’re too late, Kansas went bye-bye a hundred years ago.


3. Battleship

Say Aloha to Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch fighting Aliens with salty old sailors on a World War II era battleship! Why does this “B movie” make number three on a top five of all-time list? Remember, the nature of the problem and the unlikeliness of the hero are my rating standards. In the previous two movies, no one else was coming, but in Battleship, if the heroes don’t solve the problem in time, the satellite uplink will send word to an alien invasion force! The stakes are higher and it’s up to a few unlikely heroes to save the day! In a scene that gives all real men goosebumps, a double amputee Veteran literally chokes an alien to death with his own prosthetic legs to help save the planet, earning Battleship the number three spot on this list!


2. Armageddon

They say music can change the world! Well, back in the late 90s, music literally saved the world as we all witnessed Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, and Michael Clark Duncan save the planet with Aerosmith songs and nuclear weapons! I’ll never forget Steve Buscemi riding a nuclear bomb and singing at the top of his lungs, or the team asking never to pay taxes again in a hilarious scene at NASA headquarters. This unlikely group of roughnecks, given an impossible mission, save the planet and make the ultimate sacrifice to land on the number two spot! What a great movie that only the 90s could produce. Do you know how I know? Because if it’s on, you’ll watch it. Are you ready for the number one movie on our list?


1. Independence Day

Let’s get serious for a second here. Independence Day is the best “Save the World” movie ever filmed, as long as we don’t include the sequel in our formula. Just looking at Independence Day, well, independently, you get a movie that takes the viewer on a wild ride revolving around Marine pilot Will Smith’s weekend off gone wrong. A normal day like any other fall off the rails as Aliens show up and start blowing up cities. The most unlikely heroes, including Jeff Goldblum, aren’t even the main saviors of the planet, as a combined force for good must come together in the most unlikely of circumstances. From the Whitehouse being destroyed to the president’s wife dying, to the greatest movie president speech of all time at Area 51, to the nuke in the mother ship with the Jolly Roger, and yes, of course, our real hero, Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) saving the planet in the most testosterone filled way possible, Independence Day takes our number one spot by a longshot!


Saving the world is a messy business, and no two “Save the Planet” movies are the same. If you think you know better, feel free to challenge my content and let’s see who comes out on top!


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[Note: Our bloggers are independent writers with their own constitutionally granted opinions, viewpoints, interpretations, and feelings. Their views do not always represent that of American Reveille LLC. Regardless, we support their right to free speech and a medium to express it! Got a problem with that? Go somewhere else!]


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