John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover
Kate: Do you think people change?
Jackson: By “people” you mean me…?
Kate: Yes. Do you think you’ve changed since we separated?
Jackson: I seem to eat a lot more cereal now…
The Sun hates us, so it’s sending mutant neutrinos into the Earth’s core, causing it to overheat and make the crust unstable. This causes shifts of the Earth’s plates, resulting in catastrophic earthquakes and such. Can humanity survive? Can love survive…?
I’m sure eventually somebody will come up with something even bigger and crazier than this movie, but for now, this film – wherein the Earth basically starts to fall apart right under our feet – will stand as the biggest disaster flick of all time. I’d guess a large portion of the world’s population is done away with in this one, and we get to see a lot of it. Earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, geysers, volcanic eruptions…it’s all there. Also present are many disaster movie cliches.
– There is, of course, a black President. Though Danny Glover is not playing Barack Obama, despite it being set in the 2010-2012 range.
– Our hero is an every-man, separated from his wife, and doesn’t have a great relationship with his kids (his son calls him Jackson).
– Said hero becomes an action star when required. He can stunt drive a limo and ramp an RV over a 30 foot wide crack in the ground.
– The president gives a big moving speech.
– There’s some nut-job (Woody Harrelson) who sees all of this destruction coming before everyone else and screams about it for a large portion of the movie.
– Kids in peril.
– There’s an unlikable, slimy, second-tier government official who is constantly at odds with the more heroic lead scientist in the movie.
I’m sure I could go on…but the movie does that for me…for 2 and 1/2 hours. There were a lot of scenes that I felt could have been cut from this movie to knock it down to a more reasonable 2 hours. I’m not against longer movies as long as they have enough content to justify the length.
Regardless of all of that, I must admit that it was still reasonably entertaining. It had a relatively serious tone to it. I like that it wasn’t winking at the camera every 5 minutes like so many big blockbusters do. It was more like only every 20 minutes. Plus, having Cusack in the lead role helped as well. He makes some of the little comedic moments slightly more believable.
If you’re looking to see a bunch of stuff get blown up and destroyed in various other ways, this is the movie for you. I doubt anything in it will surprise you, and none of the performances will bowl you over, but at least it won’t bore you too much. And you better watch it now before…ya know…it’s too late…
Start listening to the doomsday wackos, people!
10 – 1.5 for being overlong due to extraneous scenes – 2.2 for too many cliches = 6.3