2012 (2009, USA/Canada)
How do you make an action film about the end of the world mind-numbingly boring? Let’s ask Roland Emmerich!
First off, it’s extremely important that your movie be as long as possible. Two hours isn’t going to cut it – you need at least two and a half hours, especially so that you can slow things down to a crawl at the point where a more reasonable disaster movie would be rolling the credits or even in line to get out of the parking garage. Second, make sure that you cast a male lead with obvious contempt for the material, one who will be sure to telegraph this feeling in every single frame. That way, your already-bloated run time will feel that much longer because of the inescapability of John Cusack’s smug face. (Bonus points for casting a talented second stringer and making him spout scientific gibberish in an accent not his own. Sorry, Chiwetel Ejiofor, but 2012 was most certainly not your big Hollywood break. I’d go back to making nice with Joss Whedon and David Mamet.) Throw in a couple of moppets in distress, pointless marital strife, a few dozen ethnic caricatures and cultural stereotypes, stunt-cast yourself a black POTUS to detract from the latter, and you’ve got yourself a completely unwatchable mess. Oh, and don’t forget to save the worst dialog in the entire movie for the final exchange. No one’s going to be left in the theater by that point, anyway.