By Aaron Mesh
A partial list of things destroyed in Roland Emmerich’s majestically shameless end-of-the-world movie 2012:
The curator of the Louvre (non-accidental Parisian-tunnel car wreck). Mayan calendar cultists (suicide). A dill pickle (consumed by conspiracy theorist Woody Harrelson). John Cusack’s family home (swallowed by the San Andreas Fault). The entire Los Angeles freeway system (ibid). The city of Los Angeles proper. Yellowstone National Park (explodes into gargantuan volcanic caldera). Several airline runways, right after John Cusack’s planes take off. Woody Harrelson’s Winnebago. Woody Harrelson (flaming fir tree).
Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro. “The vice president’s chopper went down in the ash cloud outside of Pittsburgh.” President Danny Glover’s video feed for an address to the nation—one line into the Lord’s Prayer. Caesars Palace casino (collapses, then falls into the earth). Maui (lava floes). The Washington Monument (earthquake measuring 9.4 on the Richter scale). Sistine Chapel ceiling, with major fissures rupturing between the fingers of God and Adam. The whole damn Vatican.
A luxury cruise ship carrying elderly jazz- playing buddies George Segal and Blu Mankuma (Poseidon-style tidal wave). The White House (crushed by tsunami-capsized aircraft carrier the USS John F Kennedy). President Danny Glover (“I’m comin’ home, Dorothy”).
The rest of the world. (Somewhat disappointingly, we do not actually see this.) One Russian oligarch’s private cargo-transport plane (crash in the Himalayas). “I read a quote a couple of days ago. The author is probably dead by now.” (Oddly, he’s not.) The Indus Valley, along with one symbolically important geologist (unspeakably massive tidal wave). A mountaintop Buddhist monastery (ibid). Much of the bow of Ark No. 4, one of the floating vessels secretly constructed in Nepal by the world’s governments to save a select remnant from the global flooding (it scrapes some glaciers). “We’re heading straight for Mount Everest, sir. And if we don’t start those engines, there’s no way we’ll survive the impact!” Lots of other supporting characters, mostly the ones you’d expect—children stand a much stronger chance of survival than foreigners. One giraffe (drowning).
A partial list of things not destroyed in 2012:
Hope. John Cusack. The Russian oligarch’s girlfriend’s lap dog.
Directed by Roland Emmerich
With John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover and Amanda Peet
Dreamcatcher, Regal Stadium 14