THE WORLD ENDS BUT THE MOVIE DOESN’T.
2 hours: 38 minutes of plot droppings across the TV screen.
Plot line: A doomsday Mayan prophesy comes to pass, along with other noxious fumes wafting from the DVD player.
With recycled lines of dialog like, “We’re going to need a bigger plane,” also used in Jaws – “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” – characters as flat as the worldview in 1492, and special effects that use the same sequence of cracks zigzagging across ground in the earthquake scenes – 2012 falls apart with the city of LA.
Our hero, Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), an author, chauffeur, and divorced father of two, spews the “We need a bigger plane” line when he realizes the private jet whisking him and his extended family (more later) away to safety from a crumbling LA, doesn’t have a big enough gas tank to make it to China.
Why China? You may or may not ask. That’s where the big boats are, also known as arks, or the End of World Cruise Line.
Before you get up to splash cold water on your face, let me tell you about Jackson Curtis’ extended family. It consists of his ex-wife Kate, son Noah, and daughter Lily, plus his wife’s plastic surgeon boyfriend, Gordon, who pilots the plane. Not a good time for our hero to take a swing at the plastic surgeon boyfriend. Besides, who would rebuild his nose?
Our hero’s “Bigger plane”epiphany occurs during a necessary fuel stop at Yellowstone Park, where Jackson procures a Top Secret Map from a trailer owned by conspiracy theorist, Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), who broadcasts a radio show from Yellowstone, which is now a giant volcano.
Got that so far?
Jackson and his extended family escape certain disaster, unlike the movie, when Yellowstone Park explodes with the force of an atomic bomb. Despite Jackson’s pleas, Charlie decides to stay in order to provide his deceased listeners with one last broadcast. As seismic activity rocks the Park and lava hurls from the mountaintop, Charlie Frost admires nature’s destructive powers seconds before he melts.
Airborne once again, (I didn’t do it), Jackson and his extended family of five, fly through lava, rocks, and stuff that hurdles toward them, as they continue searching for a bigger plane and an airport that still has a snack bar and working restroom.
The gang lands somewhere – I lost track by this point, either Las Vegas, Washington D.C., or Moscow – and meets up with Jackson’s not-so-nice Russian billionaire boss (remember Jackson’s a chauffeur), the boss’s girlfriend, pudgy identical twins, and personal pilot.
Jackson convinces his Russian billionaire boss to allow his extended family passage on the Russian’s giant plane by touting Gordon’s ability to co-pilot a plane. Luckily, the Russian’s pilot recently posted a co-pilot job on Craigslist and so was in need of one.
Quickly recapping, Gordon, who is Jackson’s wife’s boyfriend, is a plastic surgeon/passable pilot and was somehow able to fly them to where ever they landed in a smaller private plane.
Blah, blah, blah.
They run out of fuel over Hawaii, I think, which is now near Mount Kilimanjaro because the earth’s topography shifted. They crash, escape in an expensive car with the Russian’s family and plastic surgeon/former co-pilot, by driving down a ramp, while the Russian pilot controls the out of control plane. The pilot dies, everyone else on the plane lives; they hitch a ride with Chinese peasants, get to the arks, and . . .
I don’t want to ruin the ending, if you can stay awake that long. In a nutshell, some characters live, others die, one is mutilated, and there’s lots of water.
Why spend 2 hours and 38 minutes scratching your head and gorging yourself on multiple bowls of popcorn when you could spend 10 minutes reading the plot on Wikipedia.
2012, an apocalyptic movie. Watch Seinfeld reruns instead.
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