Who's In It: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Zlatko Buric, Beatrice Rosen, Woody Harrelson
The Basics: The ancient Mayans and tie-dyed, pickle-eatin' Woody Harrelson predicted it. In this case, "it" is neutrinos and microwaves and the Earth ripping apart with super-earthquakes, country-destroying tsunamis and mountain-devouring volcanos. Basically everything except mega-sharks and giant octopi. Also, according to this movie, when it all finally takes place you're going to need crazy driving ability in order to navigate exploding terrain and successfully four-wheel-it off a cargo jet while it's landing in the Himalayas. You have about two years left to sharpen up those skills.
What's The Deal: The only thing cooler than the world coming to an end is the world coming to an end with billions of people dying in entertainingly grand-scale ways. So if you're down for extreme loudness and thoughtless human-suffering porn, then you'll find huge L.A. freeway overpass networks disintegrating and dumping cars on top of cars on top of school buses full of kids or the Vatican turning to molten lava as immensely and thoughtlessly entertaining as I did. All you have to do while watching is ignore your own logic-thoughts about why the world's resources can be harnessed to build city-sized arks inside a Tibetan dam in order to save a few hundred thousand people yet couldn't be employed to avert the crisis in the first place. Or at least give those arks the ability to transform into giant fighting robots that are also werewolves.
My Favorite Parts, Which May Contain Some Spoilers That Don't Really Matter Anyway Because You Know John Cusack Has To Help Save Everybody In The End. And If You Don't Know That Already Then This Is The First Movie You've Ever Seen: When the Tibetan monks spend a really long time talking about whatever it is they're talking about. That was important to keep in. I also enjoyed the Poseidon Adventure shout-out moment and director Roland Emmerich's insistence on making sure we all got to see Woody H's butt-crack after he says lines like "Download my blog!" Most of all, I liked the airlifting of giraffes to ark safety via helicopter and the bizarrely unreasonable cheeriness of the beleaguered survivors--none of whom you will actually care about--who all but shout "hip-hip-hooray" after billions of other Earth citizens lose their lives.
When To Go Pee: Because it's two hours and 40-something minutes long, your total time spent in a theater seat, including trailers, is going to be about three hours. With no intermission. So pretty much any time up until the halfway mark when any official-looking person is having a conversation about how much time the world has left and what they're supposed to do about it, you can safely leave the theater knowing no excellent destruction is going to take place.
When The C.H.U.D.S. Come, You'll Want A Second-Place American Idol Finalist To Serenade You To Safety: Be sure to stay for the end credits when Adam Lambert sings the love-theme from total doom. It's been stuck in my head for days now. Curse his addictive falsetto!