It’s been a while since there’s been a really impressive disaster movie, but this weekend a big one is opening. It’s a bit reminiscent of the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, where an eco-terrorist from space threatens to destroy all human life for not being better stewards of the planet. In this movie, based on the book Genesis, the alien terrorist (called “the Creator”) succeeds. All human life is wiped out, except for one family. All the animal life in the world is drowned, except for what the protagonist Noah can save in one boat. The Creator does all this in the name of “saving the environment.”
The decision to set this movie in ancient times is an odd one. The Creator doesn’t face any noticeable opposition. There are no planes for him to blast out of the sky. There are no scientists hopelessly rushing to find a way to prevent the global disaster. There’s just the wholesale slaughter of helpless, primitive people.
What would this alternate world be like after such an event? After the Creator’s done with his mad ecological crusade, the waters recede onto the worst scene of global devastation since the last Yellowstone super-eruption. All that’s left to repopulate the world is a boat in the Middle East with a cargo of animals, mostly just two of each kind, seven of some. The human race is down to a genetic bottleneck of one family. Most of the surviving species would probably go extinct in a generation. Many of the drowned plants would reseed themselves; in fact, the world would likely turn into a jungle planet from all that watering. And the Creator is still around to inflict further horrors on the survivors. (Later on in Genesis, he turns a woman into salt when she witnesses his firebombing a city.)
Personally, I’d rather see the Hulk meet the Creator and give him what he deserves. But then it would be a rather short movie.