It’s a testament to the endless credulity of human beings that this film got made as a blockbuster, with the budget that entails and the all-star cast. The Mayan Apocalypse thing was some the worst horse shit I’ve heard the intelligent people I know spew, and it drove me crazy that I knew people who claimed to be open to the possibility of it happening, as if being “open-minded” meant that you had to believe the stupid idea that the Mayans – the fucking Mayans, people – predicted the end of the world. Apparently enough people felt this way – or worse, actually believed the end of the world could be predicted at all (as if it’s a singular event) let alone by a civilization like the Mayans – that this movie got made, with its nonsense premise of an apocalypse and the further nonsense that somehow that impending apocalypse would be hidden from the world.
SPOILERS, though you shouldn’t give a shit.
That’s where this film starts: with one of the more monumentally dumb premises in major blockbuster film history.
I guess I try to review the film as an idiotic blockbuster instead of as a proper film, but it’s really hard to ignore the insanity that underlies the film. Anyway…
It’s hard to criticize these actors, beyond the fact that they took the roles. There are some fine actors in this movie and they acquit themselves professionally the way so many good actors have in so many different stupid Hollywood blockbuster films. It would probably make the whole thing more fun if there was more bad acting in it.
It’s not the actors that further make the film intolerable; it’s the special effects. (Well, and the length.)
First, the effects are not great. Maybe CGI has improved so much in the ensuing 8 years that what looked good in 2009 looks so shitty in 2017 but I doubt it. I think that the CGI is probably not quite up to the standard. Maybe I’ll watch some other 2009 movie with CGI soon and realize I’m wrong, but this looks pretty shitty.
But that isn’t really the worst of it. The film has already gone beyond any kind of credibility by starting with its premise. But it further strains your suspension of disbelief when literally every object in the world falls slower than it would due to, you know, gravity in order for our heroes to struggle through the Apocalypse. Everything slowly falls out of the sky as if gravity has just sort of slowed. So we get those idiotic scenes you saw in the trailer, when a plane flies through a collapsing building, and lots and lots of other scenes where things don’t drop like they would in real life because a) they want you to notice them and b) if things fell normally, the movie would be over 45 minutes in.
There are so many things wrong with the film that itemizing a list would take way too much effort.
- But one thing that really confused me is: How large would a wave have to be to not break on the Atlantic Coast but move all the way in-land to break on Washington, DC? How big do you think that wave would be? What about other waves that somehow swooped over all of India? I don’t know how big these waves would be, but I imagine they would be significantly larger than the wave that kills Danny Glover. Oops, sorry for the spoiler.
- Oh, another thing: I thought when the poles flip we all die, right? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to believe? (I mean, the internet rumours, not the actual physics.) But nothing happens to the planes in the sky when the poles flip. Nothing at all. Certainly magnetic poles moving would have zero impact on anything in these planes.
- Another thing: some of the incidental characters pop in and out and appear to be only included so that the film can pretend it cares about more than Cusack’s family and the geologist.
- And about those waves in India: even if a 1,500 metre high wave did somehow plow over India, without breaking, aren’t these Arks way, way, way higher than 1,500 metres? I mean, they’re in the Himalayas, right? The Himalayas, last I checked, are significantly higher than 1,500 metres. As is the Tibetan plateau. So, um, that doesn’t make sense. And, if they did build them low enough to get hit by this 1,500 metre wave that somehow traversed a fucking subcontinent without breaking, why did they build them so low (if their plan was to build boats in mountains)?
- Of course Gordon dies. That’s a neat way of resolving that conflict. Isn’t the killing of a romantic rival one of the laziest blockbuster tropes?
- What I really want to know is, what the naval personnel on subs were going through? But seriously, this basically turns into a sub/ship sinking movie at the point when the 1,5000 metre waves somehow get up to 4,000 metres, or 6,000 metres, or over 8,000 metres, given that they’re supposed to hit Everest later.
- Also, why did they build gigantic glass windows on a sub/boat? Isn’t that um, stupid?
And so on.
Jesus this fucking movie.