John Hanlon Reviews


10 Ways to Prevent the End of the World (according to the movies)

Posted in: 10 Ways  |  By: John Hanlon  |  June 23rd, 2012

This week, healing the new dramedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World arrives in theaters nationwide. The film focuses on two characters who spend their last days together before the world (literally) comes to an end.

With that in mind, we at Screen Rant came up with a list of 10 ways to actually save the world, using lessons we’ve learned from movies. In each of these movies, the world – or life as we know it – was close to destruction, but people (or circumstances) found ways to prevent it.


War of the Worlds Photo

Germ Warfare

The Situation: Based on the H.G. Wells novel, War of the Worlds (1953) features a Martian invasion of the United States. Firing weapons at their ships doesn’t work. Fighting them doesn’t work. Our world is close to destruction until…

The Solution: The common cold. Some of the best defenses are the unlikely ones and a common virus takes down the invading Martians who aren’t accustomed to the viruses that are prominent on this planet.

World-saving advice: The next time aliens attack, don’t forget to sneeze.

Signs movie Alien Water


The Situation: In the 2002 drama Signs, crop circles begin to appear around Earth and eventually a group of hostile aliens begins their full invasion of our planet. The family in the story believe that the end could be near for them and the rest of humanity, until…

The Solution: Water. Throughout the film, the aliens avoid water, and when it is poured on one of them at the end, it burns the alien. Problem solved. .

World-saving advice: Many doctors argue that eight glasses of water a day are healthy for us. Perhaps, we should all have a ninth glass nearby as well, in case an alien invasion begins.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2

Time Travel

The Situation: Our future looks bleak in movies like Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Star Trek: First Contact (1996). In the former two films, a machine is sent back in time to kill a young resistance leader named John Connor – while in the latter film, The Borg go back in time to conquer Earth. There’s not much we can do to change the future, though, unless…

The Solution: We use-time travel to fight back. In the Terminator series, resistance leaders from the future send back their own operatives to save Connor’s life and give him the chance to become a leader. In First Contact, the crew of the Enterprise goes back in time to destroy the Borg and prevent them from taking over the planet.

World-saving advice: If our enemies wish to change the past, we just have to return the favor and go back in time to prevent them from doing so. A good time machine always comes in handy in such situations.

Independence Day Photo

Computer Virus

The Situation: Spaceships take over our airspace and destroy entire cities in the 1996 blockbuster, Independence Day. Their plan: to destroy our planet. Everything seems lost in the first days of July, until…

The Solution: Our president inspires his fellow countrymen and they lead an assault on the alien visitors – an operation launched (unsurprisingly) on Independence Day. One man’s self-sacrifice helps destroy the main ship, but the way that we ultimately save the Earth is by uploading a virus into an alien computer and weakening their defenses.

World-saving advice: Computer viruses can be good things. Sure, they can mess up your day at work – but they can also weaken alien spacecraft. You probably didn’t know that, did you?

Mars Attacks Photo


The Situation: Mars attacks in the subtly-titled 1996 comedy, Mars Attacks! These seemingly innocuous worldly travelers have come to the planet to kill all of us and destroy some of our greatest landmarks. There doesn’t seem to be a solution until…

The Solution: The power of music. It turns out that the Martians don’t like yodeling or the song, “Indian Love Call.” Either way, in this Tim Burton comedy the heads of the martians explode in whenever the song comes on.

World-saving advice: Have a record player or an iPod always nearby in case they return.

Mike Myers in Austin Powers

The ‘Off’ Switch

The Situation: Dr. Evil blackmails the world with nuclear weapons in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). This diabolical diva is willing to do anything to take over the world, and plans to set many of Earth’s volcanoes to erupt! All could be lost to this sensitive psycho, until….

The Solution: Austin Powers saves the day. He shuts off Dr. Evil’s machine and saves the world.

World-saving advice: Always make sure you have your mojo working, baby, yeah. That, and always know how to locate the “off” switch on a doomsday device.

Bruce Willis in the Fifth Element


The Situation: The Great Evil, a planet that could destroy the Earth, is quickly approaching our atmosphere in the 1997 sci-fi film, The Fifth Element. The only woman who could save the planet is cynical about humanity and doesn’t know if she wants to save us. Hope is lost, until…

The Solution: Bruce Willis kisses her. Showing that love is something that must be saved, Willis kisses the girl. She changes her mind about not saving the planet and we’re all saved.

World-saving advice: Always have Bruce Willis handy to make out with humanoid females who have the power to stop the world from being destroyed.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black


The Situation: In Men in Black(1997), our planet is full of aliens, but most of them are being monitored by a secret organization. However, there are some aliens like the villain Edgar the Bug who are willing to sacrifice the Earth to gain power in an interplanetary struggle. All could be lost, until…

The Solution: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), one of the two main MIB agents, is eaten by Edgar and then blasts his way out of the monster with a gun recovered in the alien’s stomach.

World-saving advice: You are what you eat. Always be willing to get swallowed by an alien life form if that’s the only way you have of destroying the creature hell-bent on eradicating the planet.

Bruce Willis and his crew in Armageddon


The Situation: An asteroid and a comet are headed to Earth and the planet is near destruction in Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998). It looks like these flying rocks will wipe out Earth as we know it in only a matter of time, until…

The Solution: Heroes emerge willing to sacrifice their lives to save the day. In the former film, Bruce Willis’ character stays on the asteroid to blow it up, and in the latter film, Robert Duvall’s crew crashes into the comet to break it up.

World-saving advice: Always have heroes willing to sacrifice their lives to save the day from utter destruction. If one thing can prevent our planet from being destroyed by flying objects, it’s the kamikaze courage of men like Bruce Willis and Robert Duvall.

The Avengers Assembled

Nuclear Weapons

The Situation: InThe Avengers, the villiainous Loki sends an alien army to conquer Earth. The team has their hands full when New York City is attacked. All could be lost, until…

The Solution: Iron Man saves the day by flying a nuclear missile into space to destroy the alien fleet. He falls to Earth and nearly dies, but the is won with time left to eat some celebratory Shawarma.

World-saving advice: Nuclear weapons can be useful in the right hands. And by that I mean the hands of Iron Man.


Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

10 Ways to Save the World: Lessons we Learned in the Movies

Here, again, is our list of “10 Ways to Save the World” based on lessons we learned in the movies. Feel free to reference this when aliens, asteroids, or machines from the future threaten to destroy us all.

  • Give Alien Attackers a Cold– War of the Worlds (1953)
  • Waterworks–Signs (2002)
  • Time Travel– Terminator (1984), Terminator 2 (1991), Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
  • Computer Virus– Independence Day (1996)
  • Music– Mars Attacks (1996)
  • Turn off the Machine that’s gonna destroy the world– Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
  • Kiss the Girl– The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Destroy the opponent from the inside– Men in Black (1997)
  • Self-Sacrifice– Armageddon (1998), Deep Impact (1998)
  • Nuclear Weapons– The Avengers (2011)

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This article was originally published on Screen Rant. Check it out here.