I've watched enough History Channel in my day to debunk this entire movie, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Granted, it wasn't much of one since I knew that there wasn't a lot to this movie besides a special effects bonanza. Think back to the advertising: it was only last year, who starred in this movie? Not quite coming to you? Don't worry, while the actors in this hard B- movie (that's a minus not a typo) can act, they phone it in here. There is a lot of facepalming here when you see actors you recognize sell out. I'm pretty sure that the actors' eyes had to have the money signs removed from their irises in post production.
What I liked: The beginning shots were cool. Outer space looks pretty good in the intro-- no stars, which is how the astronauts describe space to look like, and the sunspots looked pretty cool too.
What I didn't like: EVERYTHING ELSE!
Don't get me wrong, if you just want to see the cartoony photo-unrealistic special effects, then by all means, go for it. If you don't care about how predictable the story is or about how you can see the painfully obvious plot setups from a mile away, then I can recommend this movie to you. Seriously, if you're going to make a bad movie, at least make it short. Its just 2 hours and 38 minutes of people being stupid. Here is an example of how stupid the writing is: Arnold Scwarzenegger will leave office in 2011, and will not be "The Govenator" during the events of this movie.
Okay, ranting paragraph aside, there is a lot that sucks with this movie. A lot. This is pretty much the Day After Tomorrow on stupid pills, which itself was Independence Day on stupid pills, which wasn't a very smart movie to begin with. What M. Night Shamaylan is to thrillers, Roland Emmerich is to the disaster movie.... which brings me to the point of this paragraph (gee, shouldn't that be at the top of the paragraph as a sort of topic sentence?): disaster movies as feel good movies suck. Man, a lot of bad things are happening. Aliens, global warming, Mayan calenders ending... how can we make people aware that they don't have a prayer unless they can infect alien computers with Mac viruses, outrun the cold (the &*^&* cold people! But at least it wasn't the wind...) or fly/drive through collapsing buildings while millions of people die around them? Yeah, the earth is all dead, but these one-dimensional characters survived. *phew* Disaster movies are pretty stupid. I vow not to watch them unless... well at this point, the only thing that will get me to see a disaster movie is if a filmmaker I respect makes it.
Not all disaster movies are bad-- just most of them. Let's see, what to watch instead... War of the Worlds wasn't bad, though the ending was kind of lame. At least it wasn't as stupid. The collapsing buildings reminded me of Cloverfield, which was more of a monster movie than a disaster movie. However, in general, monster movies work so much better than disaster movies, they don't have a feel-good happy ending frankenstiened on to the end of what would be a tragedy. How can you be entertained while watching the earth getting destroyed with billions of humans getting killed in the process? The brief scene in the supermarket reminded me of The Mist which was decent, but also had its problems. But the movie I truly recommend after seeing this catastrophe is Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Stanley Kubrick folks, the one and only. The entire concept of what to do when facing the apocalypse (in a comedy) while deciding the future of humanity in such a world comes from the last scene in the movie. A true classic that I can recommend to anyone who likes Peter Sellers, and can sit through a black and white movie. In fact if I can stream that I may watch that to rinse the taste of stale formulaic movie out of my eyes.
Proof that the actors can act:
John Cusak: High Fidelity, Being John Malcovich. I haven't seen a lot of his '80's stuff, but I hear that's good. (My girlfriend/editor recommends Say Anything.
Woody Harrelson: (Last year was his year I guess, but 2012 was by far the worst of the ones he starred in) Zombieland, The Messenger.
Amanda Peet: I don't buy her as a mom. Go see her in Saving Silverman, one of my all time guilty pleasures.
Chiwetel Ejiofor: Was in Serenity, Inside Man, and Children of Men. I think he hasn't achieved the fame he deserves due to his name.
Thandie Newton: Hilarious as Condaleeza Rice In W., great in RocknRolla, And had a nice supporting role in The Pursuit of Happyness
Oliver Platt and Danny Glover should have known better.
In other news Channing "worst actor currently gracing the multiplexes" Tatum will return in G.I. Joe 2: Why is This Being Made? Maybe if the world does end in 2012 (it won't), we won't ever have to see this movie.
That is it, I love the movies, I really do. But I hate it when the movies are impossible to like.
This blog will self destruct...