In the year 2010 the world is suddenly heating up from the inside out due to some sort of something happening with the sun. Because of this, lots of bad stuff’s happening to and on Earth’s crust. Things like ice caps melting and fissures appearing in the ground. Well, for some unknown reason, the shit really hits the fan in 2012 and this show we call life as we know it is suddenly and violently coming to a close. The G8 decides to save their best and brightest by putting them on giant boats, called arks no less, along with provisions and lots of animals. The way too obvious problem is that all those not so best and bright, not to mention millions from developing countries not in the G8, are pretty pissed about not being allowed on the boats.
Well, too stinking bad because 99% of you are going to die, but don’t worry viewers because one family that we’re supposed to care about makes it. A dysfunctional California family that’s recycled from hundreds of other movies is the center of the story and they struggle to make it to the ark, which they only know about because the father’s a limo driver and one of his clients was asked on board. Well, they make it on in the last seconds and, for a totally unknown reason that destroys what little scientific cred this movie had to begin with, the waters recede and life looks like maybe it can go somewhat back to normal. Oh, don’t worry your pretty little head about the billions of corpses and all the wiped out vegetation, life will be pretty much happily ever after because John Cusack and Amanda Peet survived.
German director Roland Emmerich has made a career out of giant scale popcorn movies, like the DeMille of our day, movies that are spectacle. Past examples on point are Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. I like spectacle, I really do, and I very much enjoy a good adventure movie, but there must be good writing or at the very least gripping performances to make the movie watchable. John Wayne’s movies may not have been full of the best stories or casts, but he did a damn fine job and cast even better actors around him like Jimmy Stewart and Robert Mitchum. My point is, you can’t just have some grand scope eye candy of a picture; you must also toss in some good acting and compelling script. This one has neither. If you want to watch some cool visuals, stick to the Discovery Channel.