As you know I despise spoilers, and those who spoil are lower in my esteem than even editors of the Daily Mail. Forget the three-strikes witch trial copyright infringement nonsense Mandy is trying to foist upon us: three spoils and you should be run through with a sharpened courgette, hanged by the neck until February and then ritually simoncowelled.
But I’m going to spoil the film 2012 for you. Because (a) it’s rubbish, (b) it’s laughably rubbish, and (c) everything is oh so obvious that you can probably already tell what happens from the opening scene until the welcoming dark embrace of the final fade to black.
Here are the highlights, minus the boring talky teary parts.
It starts with the science bit: it’s all caused by some kind of wonky neutrino just like what the Mayans sort of not really done predicted. Cue misery faces and the-president-wants-to-see-you boggle eyes. BRING ON THE DISASTERS.
California falls into the sea. Yellowstone caldera erupts. Las Vegas stops gambling. Our action hero John Cusack and his family, plus his estranged wife’s new lover and an extremely handy Russian billionaire and his family, escape all these via limo, light aircraft and Tupolev. Everyone else seems content to wait to die, except when they’re in exciting CGI scenes of utter devastation. Oh, there’s also the world’s worst impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We see briefly what happens elsewhere. In Rome, the Sistine Chapel collapses and St Peter’s Basilica rolls over the Italian PM. In Rio, the statue of Christ on a Bike or whatever it is topples over. Take that, Catholics! In London, they suspend the Olympics and apparently replay scenes of the 1990 poll tax riots on TV in lieu of actual news footage.
The US president stays in Washington so they can drop the USS John F Kennedy on his head and smash the White House into a billion pieces – again.
Meanwhile in Tibet: the Chinese, in secret collaboration with the Americans and all the world’s dodgily accented leaders, have been building enormous arks (sadly numbered rather than lettered, so there’s no Hitchhikeresque B Ark). Construction has been financed by ticket sales to – of course – Russian billionaires and their ilk. Just a billion euros a seat. Animals go in two by two, as per; also the usual treasures, yer Monas, yer Davids.
On their unlikely flight to Tibet our heroes can’t refuel at Hawaii as the volcanoes have spent another ten million bucks or so on special effects. So they just keep flying and figure they’ll ditch in the sea somewhere unless there’s a plot development of some kind.
On Air Force One the scientists and remaining pols watch the world disintegrate and tectonic plates shift. They shift so quickly that – how handy! – Tibet moves 1500 miles east, allowing our sputtering Tupolev to conk out just a few miles from their intended destination. The Russian billionaire deserts them – he has a ticket – and the rest start walking randomly until they just happen to bump into a Tibetan family heading for a secret rendezvous at, seemingly, the unguarded back gate to the huge megacomplex building the arks. Naturally they’re going to be smuggled onto an ark by a family member.
Via a few more contrivances they find their way to an ark, but of course we’re not done yet. They drop a spanner or something into some cogs, which stops a Hugely Important Door from closing just as the tsunami reaches them. This apparently means the enormous vessel cannot start any engines whatsoever, and reminds me of the Death Star’s single exhaust port of failure.
Not to worry: John Cusack disappears under water on a “suicide mission” accompanied by his I-wanna-help whiney son and together they release the spanner, thus saving the ark from utter destruction upon the North Face of Everest. His ex-wife’s lover – who saved them all several times through his mad piloting skillz – carked it a few minutes before in a death-by-cog incident, but not to worry, she’s all over it already and lovey-dovey with her ex again.
Cue the epilogue, arks in the sunset, new world, etc. Can we go home now?
It’s at least half an hour too long. No, that’s not right: it’s about two and half hours too long. The coincidences are too much to bear. The plot twists don’t. It’s all so obvious. And John Cusack never takes his tie off for the entire movie. The world is disintegrating around him in glorious technicolour hogwash and he remains impeccably dressed throughout.
It’s a bad film.
Avaragado’s rating: six billion souls all crying out at once, “no more films Emmerich”