For such a long movie, you'd think I'd have a lot to say. I really don't. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a Roland Emmerich film. It has a huge cast of seemingly unrelated yet interconnected characters played by the likes of John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt, and Woody Harrelson. It's the end of the world, so there's a lot of survivalist action mixed with family drama. Some will do anything to live. Some will stay behind to do the nobel thing yet die in the process. Others will be jerks and upset everybody. Someone will put themselves and/or others in jeopardy to save a dog. And somebody will inevitably try to act the hero and nearly die in the process.

It's not a bad movie. Is it predictable? Sure. Is it entertaining? Most of it (it starts to stretch itself a bit thin in its second hour). How is it acted? Averagely. Are the special effects good? Very. Do I care about the characters? At least two (Cusack and Ejiofor. Maybe Cusack's daughter).

The best part of the film is its action scenes, the scenes wherein our main characters are trying to escape certain death. The main two scenes (or at least the best two scenes) are within the first hour or so. The first is when the world is first starting to go, and Cusack has to get his family across town to the airport in a limo while everything is falling apart around them, which is immediately followed up by the small airplane sequence as seen in the trailers, with the plane flying low through the collapsing city (the 'flying low' thing makes more sense in the context of the film, I think, once you know the circumstances). The second is at Yellowstone, when Cusack goes to meet back up with Harrelson to figure out where the "ships" are to get to safety, and in the process gets stuck in the middle of a Super Volcano eruption. After these two scenes, you do see a lot of worldly destruction, but it doesn't involve any main characters, so you really don't care. The next major suspense scene is at the climax of the film, which I won't ruin.

This is why I believe the second hour drags a bit. The two biggest suspense scenes occur toward the end of the first hour/beginning of the second hour. Then you have about an hour stretch with no major suspense before the climax of the film. We probably could have lost the subplot with the two fathers on the cruise ship. If we wanted to keep the time length, we could have given more substance to the Chinese family, which would have made them more than just a Deus Ex Machina for our main cast. Instead, they get about 2 main scenes of less than 5 minutes or so total before they come back into the picture in the third act.

In other words, it looked good and it did have some decent entertainment. There were some parts that probably weren't meant to be funny that were. And I couldn't help but think of Fezzik (The Princess Bride) any time that Russian Businessman spoke. I expected him to start rhyming any second. But it was a bit too long and could have easily been trimmed down a bit, mostly in the second hour. But it was pretty much exactly what I expected, so I wasn't really let down, either.

Stop Saying Okay! Okay.

1 comment:

  1. Haha - I never thought of Fezzik, but damn did the Russkie have a deep voice that could definitely match or beat Andre's. He also got the funniest line of the movie, which I also won't spoil.

    "the 'flying low' thing makes more sense in the context of the film, I think, once you know the circumstances"

    Good point, as it was certainly one of the things I saw in the trailer and rolled my eyes at. Made much more sense, though I still found those two big action scenes mostly laughable. The fact that there's no suspense for the characters hurts, too.

    Still, a decent time if you're up for a brain drain.


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