By Clark Collis
Updated February 24, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST
Joe Lederer

Disaster-movie specialist Roland Emmerich has repeatedly laid waste to planet Earth with such films as the apocalyptic, alien-themed Independence Day, the apocalyptic, global-warming-themed The Day After Tomorrow, and the apocalyptic, rotten-movie-themed Godzilla. Even his forays outside the genre feature untamed forces of nature, be they mammoths in prehistoric actioner 10,000 BC or Mel Gibson in the Revolutionary War-set The Patriot. But the earthquake-tsunami-and-molten-lava-featuring 2012 is his most disaster-filled effort yet.

Emmerich, who co-wrote the script, doesn’t spend much time explaining why this mayhem is occurring. Solar flares seem to be to blame, though it could be flared pants for all the relevance that has to the proceedings. Nor does he bother with the ”good dialogue” thing. It would be a large compendium of Great John Cusack Quotes indeed that included the line ”It’s called ice-crust displacement theory!” However, Emmerich provides enough backstory for the likes of Cusack’s novelist and Woody Harrelson’s conspiracy theorist for us to root for them. Meanwhile, the quantity of skillfully? executed destruction is through the roof. And that’s not just because almost every roof in the movie ends up being destroyed. The abundant EXTRAS boast a cheesy alternate ending and the video for Adam Lambert’s song ”Time for Miracles,” in which the singer attempts to wander through Armaggedon without mussing his hair. Now that’s courting disaster. B-

See all of this week’s reviews