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'2012': Will it be the next 'Transformers'?

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As Michael Bay’s critic-proof Transformers sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, zoomed past $200 million in its first week in theaters, all eyes were immediately set on what might become the next smash-and-grab, things-go-boom blockbuster. And frankly, the horizon seemed pretty bleak. That is, until we saw the trailer for Roland Emmerich’s 2012.

You remember Emmerich as the middlebrow, Hollywood-by-way-of-the-Rhine auteur who brought you such ear-shattering trash spectacles as Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow. To be honest, the guy has yet to make what anyone would call a “decent movie.” For starters, he doesn’t have a subtle bone in his body. But quality and a light touch aren’t what’s called for with this task. What’s required is a staggering amount of money thrown at the screen in an attempt to cause as much digitally-rendered mayhem as humanly possible. And looking at his latest disaster-porn teaser, all signs indicate mission accomplished — not to mention a huge box-office hit when the thing finally steamrolls into multiplexes in November.

For anyone hip to Emmerich’s ouevre, you’ll notice some very familiar ingredients here. The global panic and chaos. The presence of a star (in this case John Cusack) whose career won’t suffer too much from appearing in such a transparently commercial endeavor. Beloved monuments of the world getting smashed to smithereens (St. Peter’s in the Vatican, the Washington Monument). Adorable kids in peril. Stirring speeches about fighting back. A smattering of cryptic sci-fi allusions. And, of course, a bombastic, over-the-top score to goose the bloated thing past the finish line.

In other words, where do we sign up? Check out the trailer and tell us what you think.