I did not expect a whole lot out of this movie. I didn’t expect to see it at all, as a matter of fact, because it looked like a whole lot of explosions and computer generation, and… really, nothing else. To be honest, I didn’t even know that John Cusack was in it until weeks after it hit theaters. I didn’t know anyone in particular was in it… none of the advertising I’d seen had shown anything akin to a storyline whatsoever—just the earth, getting smashed to bits.
And to be honest, there was a lot of that. I got to watch my entire home state of California fall into the ocean, pretty much (see poster!), along with lots of other catastrophic events. I really was unfair going into this, thinking I’d already seen the film with Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid, though. While it really was a roller coaster of ridiculous circumstances, it was dotted throughout with bits of really good acting. Spot appearances by Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (he’s the Operative from Serenity, remember?) among others made this film something very worth watching.
If nothing else, it reminded me how much I love (and I mean L-O-V-E) John Cusack and Amanda Peet. And yes, I mean and/or. Both of them are on my fall-easily-for list, and having them together in a movie is always a delight—though I thought it was a bit funny that in both movies I’ve seen them in (the other being 2007’s Martian Child) Cusack plays a one-book-wonder sci-fi author. (They were also in Identity together, but that’s a bit too creepy for my bones.)
I also thought it was a bit peculiar that every copy of his book that we see in the film (even the one read and loved by Ejiofer’s character) looks brand-new. But that’s understandable. There were a few other idiosyncrasies that caught my attention—like the fact that it was the Winter Solstice, but a newscast talked about interrupting the London Olympics—which are Summer Olympics—but that’s just me paying too-close attention. I thought the ending was cleverly sought-out, the broken-family-working-together was realistic in its none-too-sappy but loving portrayal, and I liked the message it pushed about humanity—that no matter how selfish the majority are, there will always be some who put others unequivocally above themselves.
That, and the little girl in this movie is perhaps the cutest thing in existence. It is true.
All in all, I give the film a B rating.