Review On The Movie “2012” With Preview Trailer Starring John Cusack

Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Rated PG.

2012 is a big-budget disaster movie that predicts the end of the world a mere two years after this year. We get to see various spots around the globe shake and bake thanks to what scientists in heavy-duty horn-rimmed glasses refer to as “the destabilization of the Earth’s crust”. It doesn’t sound so bad in print, but divorced dad Jackson Curtis (a mercifully subdued John Cusack) gets to watch L.A. split apart faster than an overstuffed cocktail dress. All the while, he’s trying to keep his two kids (Morgan Lily and Liam James) out of harm’s way. Do you think Jackson’s excruciatingly lengthy quest to stay ahead of earthquakes and tidal waves is depressing? Try sitting through two-and-a-half hours of characters barking daffy lines like: “You could be responsible for the end of the human race. Can you live with that?”

Director and co writer Roland Emmerich, who also predicted Armageddon in 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow, bases his whole bloated premise on an ancient Mayan prediction. Emmerich’s mouthpiece for the validity of all this nonsense is a loopy talk-show host (Woody Harrelson) who enjoys cackling over our imminent doom a little too much. Some of the humor actually works, but there’s precious little of it.

Of course, if you just want to see things blow up real good, 2012 may be the popcorn movie for you. The special effects are suitably impressive. One of Emmerich’s smarter moves? Peppering the supporting cast with wily veterans that include Oliver Platt as a corpulent villain and Danny Glover as the U.S. president. (Watch for George Segal and Vancouver’s Blu Mankuma in an all-too-brief turn as a couple of delightfully crusty jazz musicians.) Their conviction is almost enough to make us forget that 2012 is far too long.

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