2012 is a wonderful bit of preposterous entertainment. Have you seen the movie Speed? It has a scene where a runaway bus jumps across an expanse of missing freeway, totally defying the laws of physics. And yet the moment is still exhilarating. All of the action in 2012 is like that.
The movie is filled with people frantically fleeing from flying debris and with people, cars, and trains falling into canyons that didn’t exist a few seconds earlier. Los Angeles – where else? – splits open and its denizens tumble toward the Earth’s core while our heroes, led by the always appealing John Cusack, escape in a tiny plane, buildings collapsing within inches all around them.
Narrow escapes continue with Yellowstone going volcanic – as my wife frequently reminds me could happen any second – with lava everywhere and a mushroom cloud the likes of which hasn’t be seen since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why though does molten rock never seem hot in movies? And why does a blast big enough to take out a national park only create enough wind to barely muss the hero’s hair?
Still, it’s all entertaining and the special effects are quite stunning. It’s the sort of movie where you sit back and go with the flow. I don’t usually eat popcorn during movies, but I did so this time with glee. And I wasn’t even all that bothered when my daughter texted me asking to buy her four tickets to New Moon. That’ll teach me to not forget to turn the darn thing off though.
Cusack plays Jackson Curtis, a divorced fledgling writer. He takes his two kids on a camping trip while his ex-wife Kate spends time with her boyfriend. And it is in this subplot that we best see what the movie is really about, a Noah-like punishment for sins.