So I don’t really want to spoil this for anyone, but the world kind of ends in this picture, as prophesied by the Mayans whose sophisticated calendar system runs out on 21 December 2012 so therefore the world ceases at that point.

Which means the world is due to end the year I turn 50, but it’s not my fault…

Of course it is entirely possible that they just got bored with the whole calendar thing, or couldn’t conceive of time running any longer than that, rather than actually knowing something that we don’t. But lots of people have written books and articles on the subject (I certainly remember reading Fingerprints of the Gods in 1996) and these form the basis for a hokey disaster movie in the finest traditions of the 1970s.

Declaration of interest: I love disaster movies, the bigger the better. I know the production values are sometimes awful, I know that the plots can be formulaic and that the first 30 minutes is usually spent introducing you to the characters so that you can start running bets on who’ll live and who’ll die, but I still love them. My absolute favourite is The Towering Inferno, but I also have a soft spot for The Poseidon Adventure (still gutted over the death of Shelley Winters in that one, possibly scarred for life at an impressionable age…)

So I was determined to see this, even though people I respect had said it wasn’t that good, and, well, it lived up/down to my expectations and I loved it.

What I particularly loved = John Cusack as an unlikely action hero; Chiwetel Ejiofor as a really, really cool scientist; Oliver Platt, slimy politician; Woody Harrelson, just for doing what he does in his own nutty way; big, big, big special effects – fire, flood, earthquake, you name it it’s there; and the whole just as you think nothing bigger can happen they have enormous waves coming over the Himalayas bit! Oh and my absolute favourite = The North Pole is in Wisconsin? No, sir, that’s the South Pole….

Loving not so much = why do they always have to save the yappy dog? And no, no, no, not fair what happens to Gordon, Tamara, Sasha – especially Sasha, got very fond of him. And the thing about the Italian PM staying with his people, hmm, not sure about that…

Rating stuff = 12A (contains sustained moderate threat and one use of strong language). Sustained moderate threat? C’mon people, the world is ending and almost all of us are going to die, more than moderate threat methinks….

Tissue count = not really necessary, but Sasha, I miss you so

Safety cushion = not scary but exciting, so no external protection required

So, if you are happy to leave your brain at the door, don’t mind having all your based-on-previous-disaster-movies-experience totally confirmed, and can sit through a film this long without expiring then you will really enjoy what is in fact total and utter big-budget spectacular nonsense.

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