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Michael Medved
After Earth
Movie photo: Will Smith's "After Earth"

The need for better bad guys

Two of Hollywood's biggest summer thrillers suggest that the chief threat to humanity comes from gigantic, vicious reptiles? Both "Pacific Rim" and Will Smith's "After Earth" forced their intrepid heroes to confront these Godzilla wanna-bes to save the human race.

In "World War Z," a similar menace came from hordes of zombies, and in "Man of Steel" we needed protection from invading space aliens.

Only two major releases even alluded to terrorism: in "Iron Man 3," the terrorist threat was a total fraud perpetrated by greedy corporate interests and in "White House Down" the Republican warmongers and those greedy corporations collaborated to recruit the terrorists.

Many disillusioned moviegoers lament the lack of heroes in contemporary film, but it's hard to rally the good guys when movies can't even offer credible and compelling bad guys.

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