Opened November 13, 2009 | Runtime: 2 hr. 38 min.
PG-13: intense disaster sequences and some language
Well, I think we’ve watched enough disaster movies to have a pretty good idea of who survives. Though there are some surprises in that aspect too. But they have to be right. That’s part of the whole disaster end-of-world movie making formula. And yes, the writers/producers/directors followed that formula. The reason for that is quite simple: it works. Armeggedon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow – they all built on each other in magnitude and scope, but they all follow the same basic blueprint.
If you love big budget, special effects filled, action packed, edge of your seat, heart-pounding intense OMG DID YOU JUST SEE THAT! movies – than this, my friend, is the movie for you! This is a thrill ride of epic proportions! The disaster effects are spectacular. And they just keep coming.
We got a little extra chuckle here in Marin County. One of the first places to “go” is Point Reyes… which is just a couple of miles from the theater I was sitting in. Ah yes, it starts with California literally falling into the ocean. I’ve head about that since childhood. It’s still gorgeous here, I’ll take it over those frozen mid-western winters any day!
As for the actual script, it’s mediocre at best. I don’t do spoilers, so I can’t go in to too much detail about some of the problems I had with it, especially at the end. Cause it’s cliche, wraps things up a little tooooo neatly and well… yeah, I can’t say anymore. But we all know the script part is secondary in this kind of movie. It’s all about the special effects, baby!
There were a few casting surprises. Look for a nearly unrecognizable Woody Harrelson. He is GREAT (and I’m not a Woody fan by any means. But he is perfect in this role!) Danny Glover is our Commander in Chief and he has my vote. There’s a hilarious “news clip” of our Governator… only it’s not really Arnold. The actor’s accent is so bad I wonder if the movie producers did it on purpose. Amanda Peet does a good job of having really big, worried eyes through out the whole thing (I wish they’d give women a more active role in this, she’s almost just window dressing through the whole thing. Disappointing. Once again, men save the world… sort of…) So let’s touch on that for a minute.
I was impressed with the level of diversity FINALLY. Races were fairly well represented, it wasn’t American white man saves the planet this time around. It was definitely a good cultural mix with other nations (and not just nationalities) playing a big part. However, it was ALL MEN (with the exception of a couple of female heads of state, like Queen Elizabeth, a figurehead not a decision-maker.) All the scientists, etc… MEN. Ah, we’ve come so far and yet… the women still stand around, wringing their hands and waiting for the men to make decisions and take action. I may not have burned my bra (believe me, not an option – these babies need SUPPORT on a grand scale!) but I do believe that women are certainly capable of taking action in times of stress and disaster!
Well, this movie wasn’t meant to be a lesson on sexism and equality. Heck, it’s not even a lecture on Global Warming and taking better care of the environment (tsk tsk, if only everyone would just recycle!) This is predicted thousands of years in the future, unavoidable DISASTER on a planetary scale. It’s an epic, spectacular, in your face, blow ’em up, action movie. And it does that very, very well!
My overall review: if you like action-adventure, end of the world, epic disaster movies (or John Cusack) then you’ll LOVE it!! My 13 year old thought it was AWESOME!