2012 isn’t really a movie; it’s more like director/FX-mad wannabe supervillain Roland Emmerich calling out every other disaster film that has come before, including his own. Aliens blowing up the Empire State Building? What piker came up with that? Big-ass cruise ship hitting an iceberg and sinking in the North Atlantic? Bah! Try topping this: The whole damned planet has struck the metaphoric iceberg and is going down by the head.
It’s all got something to do with neutrinos, little subatomic bastards that usually leave us alone. But now, they’ve mutated and they’re microwaving the Earth’s core. Next up: global crust displacement, which will ruin your whole afternoon.
Emmerich wasn’t content merely to make the biggest disaster movie ever; he had to make every disaster movie ever. 2012 is like a late-night infomercial: “Sure, everyone loves a good plane crash! Everyone loves yer basic earthquake flick! But order now, and you’ll also get Destruction by Supervolcano, Tsunami Catastrophe and California Sliding into the Pacific Just Like They Told Us Would Happen Someday!” It’s exhausting, this multi-orgasmic destructo porn, but it is high-larious. Billions are dead, civilization is over, but—and here’s funny—preposterous coincidence will go on. Ridiculous dialogue will go on. Schmaltz will go on. Hyperbole will go on. And John Cusack will go on—sniff—won’t he? Call it Tectonic.
The Earth’s crust may be disintegrating, but Cusack’s family is also disintegrating, and that’s what really matters, OK? His ex-wife (Amanda Peet) is still ragging on him as Hawaii boils away beneath them. His moppet kids prefer Mom’s new boyfriend, even as Las Vegas is getting snuffed out by a cloud of volcanic dust the size of Yellowstone Park. But it’ll all be worth it his 7-year-old daughter feels confident enough after the end of the world to stop wetting the bed.
John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor