You know what you are paying for!
If you want the world to end then hire Roland Emmerich. He has alien spaceships at his disposal. He can turn on a global warming crisis that causes a modern day ice age. Heck, he even has a giant lizard to cause a bit of damage. If all of that wasn't enough the German director can now make the Earth's crust shift so much that cracks consume entire cities, Yellowstone park turns into the largest volcano in the world and tsunamis almost reach the peak of Mt Everest. Damn.
Looking for bang for your buck? Look no further. Emmerich's latest in all things destructive is a spectacle like no other. What makes it so impressive are the remarkable special effects; if buildings and freeways were ever going to fall into mile long crevices in the ground, then this is surely what it would be like. The abundant use of CGI is not subtle, but it doesn't matter, because it seems so real and the gigantic set pieces that it features in are so bloody exciting. Of the multitude of adrenaline pumping sequences the plane taking off in L.A. is a highlight; seeing Jackson and his family fly between 80 storey buildings that are collapsing is a sight to behold. The U.S.S. John Kennedy aircraft carrier slamming into the Capitol Building is a quick scene that stands out as well.
There's probably little point talking too much about the plot. Unsurprisingly it's a load of baloney, but the fact that you're not thinking about its implausibility and predictability due to the constant action is a feat in itself. The cast do well to provide entertaining pawns on the Emmerich chess board: the always likable Cusack makes for an easy hero to root for; Ejiofor gives his scientist a humanistic element; whilst Harrelson is the standout in his deliriously amusing role as the whack job who predicts the end is nigh.
It may be slightly long – the final 30 minutes can't keep up the pace of the preceding two hours – and naturally there are plot holes galore, however this is as fun as they come. Recommend big screen viewing for optimal enjoyment.
3.5 Out of 5