Ridiculous - the one word that kept running through my head throughout '2012', yet this is classic Emmerich plane/train/earth crash cinema at its best.
The guy who brought us box-office smashes 'Independence Day' and its slightly more sophisticated successor, 'The Day After Tomorrow', leaves us in no doubt as to what to expect. The Master of Disaster once again delivers brainless, predictable entertainment and incredible special effects.
It stars Cusack as Cusack, Harrelson as the enjoyable Harrelson and is replete with America saving humanity once again. In full knowledge and anticipation of the impending end of the world, some clever folk have created a number of arks to ensure the survival of the human and animal races - or at least a select few. Cusack plays Jackson, the likeable but unreliable schlub to Amanda Peet's Kate, who's fighting to get his estranged family on board.
The CGI is spectacularly unbelievable and our heroes always manage to stay miraculously .01 seconds ahead of death. Everything from collapsing buildings, motorways and even landmasses magically clear a path in time for them to survive and continue on their journey. Unbelievable, yet entertaining devices, ensuring more action in a ridiculous way.
The best giggles, though, come courtesy of the dialogue - it's so bad, it's not even good. Add this to the fact that the film is soo long - you'll think it is 2012 by the time you leave - and you'll begin to wish for the end of this onscreen humanity, Cusack's character included.
Cusack fans may once again be disappointed that he has turned his hand to blockbuster fare but, in truth, he's not bad in the role. And he couldn't be because he plays himself.
In his global, apocalyptic, demolition derby Emmerich wastes little time on empathy - plenty on individual, shameless, schmaltzy moments but not on humanity as a whole. He scoffs at Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and other believers when they turn to their faith for guidance, zealously zooming in on the collapse of revered landmarks such as the Vatican.
The film is one big lucky dip of stereotypes and clichés - they even manage to get a snooty British scientist with grey, curly hair and a dickie bow thrown into the mix. By the end, the remnants of the human race are off on the unPC quest to (re) colonise Africa - wonder what the post-Apartheid, New Africa will have to say about that.
This is one blockbuster to be seen with a big crowd on the big screen with a big box of popcorn. Although, it doesn't sound like the '2012' phenomenon is going anywhere soon - there's already talk about a TV series follow-up, '2013'. We were warned.