Starring John Cusack, Oliver Platt, and Chiwetal Ejiofor
Directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day)
Rated PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language
Appropriate for ages 13+
The world is coming to an end and John Cusack attempts to get his family to safety before all of mankind meets their doom.
There seems to be one thing that director Roland Emmerich does well and that is destroying the world. Whether it’s Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, or now this film, he seems to like the image of famous landmarks going down. And more go down in this film than ever.
For the first part of the film it’s actually pretty fun. The action is riveting and the visuals add to the experience. But then comes a moment of overkill. Perhaps it’s the third time the plane takes off on a close call. Or maybe the umpteenth city to go down. It just seems like the film turns into a parody of all of his other films.
And then come the logic flaws. My favorite was when the scientist’s friend is about to die from a giant tidal wave and he calls him from his cell phone to let him know that he wasn’t picked up when he was supposed to be and is about to die. Never mind that there wouldn’t be cell phone service any longer in conditions such as those, but why wouldn’t he have called him earlier to say “hey – please pick me and bring me to safety so I don’t get killed by this frikin tidal wave in twenty-four hours.” These kinds of flaws are all over the place and they are laughable.
And then there is the film’s length. At 158 minutes, your brain is melted along with the Earth’s crust. It’s just tough to sit through with a straight face for that long.
The hardest part for me was having to listen to the over-excited fan afterward heartily exclaim “wow – the trailer just doesn’t do the film justice.” We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. C-