ACTION; 2hr 38min
STARRING: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover
Plane crazy: Peet and Cusack
When he takes on a disaster flick, director Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow) goes all out. In 2012, Earth’s core is heating up like a monster cauldron, its crust is weakening and there is zip that anyone can do. While government geologist Adrian Helmsley (Ejiofor) scrabbles for a grip, small-time author-slash-chauffeur Jackson Curtis (a mopily tenacious Cusack) is doing his damnedest to bond with his young children (Liam James and Morgan Lily). Meanwhile, the nobly principled US President (Glover) is as helpless as anyone else.
Since the archetypal characters in these things run a poor second to the hot stuff, it had better deliver. The good news is the 2012 bad news is spectacularly bad. As Jackson, his kids, his ex (Peet), her new guy (Tom McCarthy) and a strange group of Russians commandeer a plane and fly to China, where purpose-build arks await those who can afford a passage, the planet buckles and crashes beneath them in an inferno of floods, earthquakes and eruptions.
It’s a monumentally bonkers canvas of doomed beauty as Emmerich keeps the CGI destruction in over-the-top motion, ploughing through chintz and catastrophe like the incorrigible ringmaster he is.