I know it's disaster porn of the highest order, the characters are as paper-thin as the buildings appear to be and the dialogue is atrocious. But come on... no one's going to this one for memorable moments. We're going to watch big things fall down and go boom.
And measuring 2012 on the boom-a-meter it gets an 9.5 out of 10. Until someone makes the movie where Earth goes kablooey Emmerich takes the prize for mind-numbing spectacle.
And as is the disaster-film tradition there are a couple campy performances to savor.
Yes there's John Cusack, who does the usual Cusack. It was kind of the producers to allow him to play a writer who wears black the entire time, thereby allowing us to believe in someway he's still the guy from High Fidelity/Say Anything.
But a little-known Croatian actor steals the show. His name is Zlatko Buric and he plays Yuri, the Russian billionaire Cusack's character just happens to work for. Zlatko has a voice like a bass woofer with a vodka-soaked accent to match. Lots of fun.
Also hats off to Tom McCarthy. You know when you're playing the guy competing against John Cusack you're not long for this earth. But considering he's playing a plastic surgeon from Los Angeles he's surprising likable. (If you're trying to place Tom, think of The Wire and don't forget he directed The Visitor.)