A state-of-the-art multiplex three-ring circus whose special effects stagger the senses and play like a video game, whose human drama aims for the cosmic and lands waist-deep in the Big Silly.
I could fairly describe the 2012 plot as follows: The highest-paid members of an indifferent cast survive the massive floods and giant fireballs that cause our planet's destruction.
If the viewer were ever invited to think or feel about what's happening on-screen, the movie's wow-whoa-ain't-it-cool momentum would collapse in a heap of horrific preposterousness.
(Many) will decry "2012" as a plotless, illogical, cliched, demented popcorn flick (because it is), but this is that rare case where the apocalypse, at least in terms of big-budget blown-up spectacle movie-making, is hardly the end of the world.
2012 is so long, and its special effects are at once so outrageous and so thunderously predictable, that by the time I lurched from the theatre I felt that three years had actually passed and that the apocalypse was due any second.
This is fun. 2012 delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year.
I quite enjoyed the experience, at least the first five or six hours of it. 2012 is not simply the last disaster movie you ever need to see. It's the last movie you ever need to see.
2012 is reminiscent of yesteryear '80s shlock-tastic blockbusters -- total popcorn entertainment with ridiculous dialogue and impossible situations and special effects that will boggle the brain for a good two-plus hours.