W is for World War Three

World War III has been a threat looming over Mankind ever since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Although technically the concept of WWIII is simply another war that draws in the major superpowers, the fear has always been that the war would escalate into a nuclear exchange that destroys the world. Here are 10 movies that provide an overview of the concept of WWIII.

Some WWIII movies are about avoiding the war.

1. Watchmen - In an alternate world where superheroes exist, the US and the Soviet Union are still on the brink of nuclear war. This is one of few modern movies to focus on the Cold War definition of WWIII, ainly due to the fact that it's adapted from an eighties comic.

2. X-Men: First Class - Set in the 1960's, the superheroic X-Men race to stop a psychotic mutant from provoking the Cuban Missile Crisis into triggering World War III. The idea is that a nuclear war would wipe out humanity, leaving mutants as rulers.

3. Escape From New York - In this near-future, New York is a maximum-security prison, and Snake Plisskin has to rescue the president and recover an audiotape. It's implied that Snake's mission to deliver the tape will avoid World War III.

Very few movies are set during WWIII. 

4. Red Dawn - Red Dawn is one of the rare movies set during World War III as the Soviet Union invades the US. Most of the war is told second-hand with the battle fought from the perspective of some teenagers in a small Midwestern town.

5. Time Machine - The original movie is about a man from the 1800s who travels through time to the far future. As he travels in fast-forward, we see World War III in passing destroying the world, and then society rebuilding itself.

Most of these movies are about the aftermath of World War III.

6. The Day After - As nuclear apocalypse movies go, The Day After is by far the most realistic. Literally set in the days after a nuclear war, the movie follows the survivors as they deal with radiation sickness, chaotic riots, and the collapse of infrastructure.

7. Equilibrium - World War III is a distant memory in this movie, but is also the catalyst. After a devastating war, a dictatorship arises based on the idea that emotions are the cause of all ills. Emotions are banned, and one police officer finds himself at odds with his job of destroying things that cause happiness.

8. The Terminator - In this movie, a future World War III is fought between all of humanity and an army of robots led by an artificially intelligent computer, Skynet. WWIII only serves as a backdrop, though, with the focus on time travel back to modern day.

9. The Matrix - In the distant future, a man wakes up from a virtual reality to discover that Mankind has been conquered and enslaved by machines. Much like The Terminator, World War III was fought between humans and robots. We lost.

10. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - A rebellious warrior named Mad Max roams a post-apocalyptic wasteland and becomes embroiled in a power struggle in a lawless town. It's established late in the movie that a nuclear war caused the collapse of civilization.

Any other movies you can think of involving World War Three?
[Image Source: giantbomb]

This W post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, I'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.

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M Pax said...

None off-hand, but I'm sure there are more. 

Ciara Knight said...

I think you covered all of them. 

AlexJCavanaugh said...

We're both The Book of Eli and Tank Girl post-apocalyptic after WWIII? (Not for sure on either one.)

Nigel Mitchell said...

Making this list made me wonder if world war three is as big a fear as it used to be. Is WW3 still relevant today, do you think?

Tony Laplume said...

Star Trek: First Contact deals with the aftermath of WWIII.

Bargain Hunter Comics said...

Wow, I can't believe I'm gonna stick my neck out here. After all, I haven't, yet, seen the movie, or read the book. But, what about, "The Hunger Games"?
I mean, according to wikipedia, it is, "Sci-fi".
And it takes place after, "some unknown apocalyptic event". (Presumably, WWIII.)
Still, I stand to be corrected.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I think Tank Girl was an environmental disaster, but Eli was WWIII, I think

Nigel Mitchell said...

Good one

Nigel Mitchell said...

Yeah, I think "Hunger Games" counts


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