My quick take on 2012 is up at Reason. Here’s a sample:
Not content merely to be another Big, Dumb Blockbuster, it aims for something greater: to be the Biggest, the Dumbest, the Blockbusteriest.
And with its never-ending parade of glorious, ludicrous, and utterly improbable catastrophes, it more or less succeeds. 2012 is the sort of movie so aggressively hyperbolic and devoutly over-the-top that it makes traditional descriptive labels obsolete and thus requires the invention of whole new words. My suggestions? How about catastrophaganza—the subgenre to which 2012 (and most of Emmerich’s oeuvre) belongs—and retardiculous—the best combo word to describe its barfy blend of low-quality yucks; treacly, social-welfare obsessed melodrama; buzz-word-laden psuedo-scientific babble; and gleefully apocalyptic pyrotechnic spectacle.