How in the world can a modern disaster movie with first-rate special effects be so damn boring? I mean, this is a snooze-fest if I’ve ever seen one: If you’ve watched the awesome trailer, then you’ve seen all the good bits. No no, like, for real. Over 80 per cent of the trailer is from the first half hour of the movie, while the rest of the narrative is less about an impending extinction-level event and more about harried parents attempting to reunite with their separated child. It’s… not particularly interesting, if I’m being honest. It feels a little old-fashioned to focus a disaster movie’s plot around separated family members trying desperately to reunite with each other, and it’s never been a particularly captivating angle for this audience member. I love disaster movies because I like the spectacle of it, but the human drama is often forced and contrived when there’s plenty of organic dramatic material already at hand, so why overstuff the narrative with never-ending soap-opera distractions? So, in the end, that’s what we have here: A plodding, repetitive storyline with underdeveloped, underperformed characters going through the expected motions, and just when you think the movie is mercifully starting to wrap up, you realize there’s still like 45 minutes left. There are some interesting ideas in the screenplay once in a while, like the immediate repercussions of finding out in real time that your friends have not been chosen for life-saving protection, and there’s a short-but-electrifying performance by Hope Davis that suggests a much richer movie, but as it is, it’s a terribly dull way to spend two hours of your life.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)