The jury is still kind of out on this film right now. Hopefully by the end of this blog I will be able to give it a proper rating.
The plot is rather obvious. It starts about 2009 and with a couple of quick flashes through the years you learn that the government is preparing for something. Of course, you have an idea what it is. This is where science and prophecy meet. The Mayan calender predicts an event of cataclysmic proportions. We learn that this is true because the sun is putting off exra ... waves (don't ask me what kind) This is causing our core to heat up, which is causing something a lot like a land shift. The earth is essentially exploding on itself.
Obviously there are a lot of different stories weaved into this - as with all disaster movies. The main focus is on a down and out writer and his family - estranged wife, son, and daughter, as well as his wife's new boyfriend. But we also are introduced to the scientist who brought the problem to the attention of the government (it is worth to note that he is NOT the person who first discovered the problem though - I thought that was a nice change up) Add a couple of politicians, a freak, a religious man, and their families and you have the general core of characters.
I liked the movie. It isn't something I would want to own, but I would watch it at a friend's house or on tv once in a while. Acting is pretty good. I'm a sucker for John Cusack, I am. There wasn't any really fantastic performances, though. Good, adequate, but nothing mind blowing.
The plot - while typical had some good points. It started off kind of slow. The first wave of disaster was detached somehow. It was more spectacular than I really cared for. However, I will say that I understand why it was that way. The ending half of the movie is incredibly emotionally charged. So, I think the first wave of city destruction was designed to be more for the wonder aspect than for a feeling for all the suffering. It also held the concentration of the family, which made sense too.
There were some cheap shots though, in the plot, and at one point I did start thinking - when are they going to reinvent the pattern? Why is there always a good scientist, a dirty politician, a bad man who somewhat redeems himself in the very end - and why, why, is the main family always somewhat broken? I'd like to see something different.
Still and all, it was pretty good, and there was some amazing camera work. Obviously, a lot of special effects were used - and it was pretty effective. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of it. I was most intrigued by watching the different types of people dealing with the end of the world crisis.
You know what bothered me the most? It has nothing to do with the movie, though, so pardon the hiatus here. I was watching it with Barry - who has a big problem with organized religion. Okay, fine, that is his beliefs, and I respect that. But I got really irritated when they showed the Vatican and he cheered the destruction. I got mad really. And I feel bad that I did, because there was no reason to. But it bothered me that he could only see the Church as false hope. It really bothered me. It was not the time to have a religious discussion, and I am the last person who should even get into such a discussion. I am not a good Christian, and I know little about world religions - but I wanted so badly to make him understand. I know every religion has its downfalls, and too often people use religion as an excuse for intolerence (which makes me SO MAD). Religion is there to comfort people - to guide them - to teach them to be good. Organized religion is simply a community of believers. It is simply a group of people who agree and who worship together. It is a beautiful thing really. I'm not Catholic and I don't believe exactly as they do, but I respect their faith - and watching the symbol of that faith crumble is powerful and sad. It is just as sad to see a Jewish temple bombed or guards having to stand outside a Mosque. I wish I could get him to understand - but I don't want to be disrespectful to him, so I say nothing.
Back to the movie: I think I have made a decision.
3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars - borderline on 4 stars.
I recommend it for at least a one time watch.