• Warning: Spoilers
    Remember Clark Gable searching for Jeanette Macdonald in 1906? Lana Turner struggling to avoid falling trees in exotic settings in two different movies? Charleston Heston and Ava Gardner struggling to find a way out of collapsed skyscrapers? Even Superman reversing a quake. Now those had moments of tension that were gripping and nail biting, but it was all about survival and helping others cope and nothing more. Along came the modern disaster movie which took basically the same synopsis and plugged in different names, different types of natural cataclysmic horrors and shoving it all around an estranged or separated family determined to get back together no matter what the cause.

    This surrounds the heroic Dwayne Johnson, aka "The Rock", having him and his ex-wife in a helicopter flying from L.A. to S.F. to rescue their daughter after his ex-wife Carla Gugino's boyfriend abandoned her, leaving her with a foppish British lad and his pesky younger brother. This was acceptable in "Dante's Peak", silly but tolerable in "The Day After Tomorrow" and eye- rolling and outlandish in "2012". If you thought that the exploding freeways and the collapsing buildings threatening the family driving and later flying through it, wait until you see ex-wife jumping up on collapsing debris to get to the Rock's helicopter.

    I had a feeling of the mentality of this movie with the opening of a twit- wit girl, not paying attention while driving through the San Gabriel mountains, looking back to grab a bottle of water and her phone (of course) and going over a cliff hundreds of feet because of rocks falling from a smaller quake, and surviving barely getting dirt on her face. How could the creators of this not realize what a disaster they had on their hands, maybe not in box office dollars (you could sell the Hoover dam to these types of movie audiences) but in critical pans. Blame "Titanic" for starting this wave of formula films that in retrospective just didn't know where to stop.

    Certainly watchable, this is beyond flawed and outlandish in so many ways. Computer generated effects and ear blasting dramatic music just intensify how over the top. As tragic as the real thing would be, there is no way that these characters would survive any of these intense situations. It's all too much, too repetitive, too dark and after a while, it is obvious what is going to happen. I can only watch so many of these movies, not just because of their absurdities, but because of the grim future they predict, and, I'm sorry. That ain't entertainment.