WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
“When a colossal tectonic shift causes the sea level to start rising, a microbiologist gathers the DNA of as many species as she can, while the military creates an “ark” in a desperate attempt to preserve life on Earth.”
The Asylum and I have really got to stop meeting like this. Seriously, how many of the movies in my collection have their sneaky little paws behind it? Now, I was in the mood for a decent cheesy disaster flick, but this was too much. Above is the blurb for this movie taken directly from the Asylum’s website, which I feel needs to be addressed. Firstly, there was no tectonic shift, not on any of the 40 days this movie purportedly spans. Secondly, sea levels did not rise; at best we had a few isolated inland tidal waves. Thirdly, there is no way on God’s green Earth that that woman was a microbiologist. Fourthly, surely samples of 3 bees and a few moths doesn’t count as ‘DNA of as many species as she can’? Fifthly, no country has a military made up of 7 people. Sixthly, that wasn’t an ark, it was a strange train that floated. Seventhly, the DNA of 3 bees cannot preserve life on earth if you didn’t take any life with you onto the ark. So yeah, that about sums up how I felt about this movie, but I’m gonna do my usual review now to drive home just how daft it really was.
Jon and Tessa are such a lovely couple – you’ve never seen a 50-year-old man and a 19-year-old girl so madly in love. They’ve got a pretty good life too – they work for the super-secretive black-ops illuminati division of the US military, which means they’re very clever, very wealthy, and very well looked after. All that and as many rooftop picnics as they could ever dream of! What could possibly go wrong for a couple as spritely as this? Oh right, the world’s about to come to an end. How’s the world going to come to an end? Be damned if I know; all I saw were four drunken kids driving around the Sahara desert when a few thunder clouds appeared over head. Next thing they (and I) knew, there’s an enormous tsunami coming over the mountains and the whole desert’s submerged by an ocean of CGI water.
In what turns out to be the Asylum’s answer to 2012, a massive super storm is developing over Africa, and within the next few days it will cover THE ENTIRE PLANET. How this super storm started to develop we’re never going to know, but said super-secretive black-ops illuminati division of the US military has to come up with some way of saving at least a nominal portion of the American public (mainly the smart ones though). To do this they’ve decided to build an ark. The ark will be the world’s first live-saving sea vessel shaped like a dildo, and despite the fact they have to cram in 3 years work into a week to get the thing built, everyone’s fairly convinced that it can be done with relatively few screw ups. Oh, how they underestimated Mr Murphy on that one…
Turns out there are a few hiccoughs to overcome before the ark can sail. Firstly, it’s powered by turbines built on completely theoretical technology that, despite being the size of a small cat, will harness the power of the waves and wind to generate enough electricity to keep it sailing for as long as they need. Surprisingly, there are a few problems getting these turbines working. Now, that’s Jon’s job. Tessa’s job is to collect DNA samples so that they can rebuild nature once the flood waters recede. Unfortunately a rock slide took out the train carrying all her samples, and now she has to go out into the wild to collect more before everything’s under water. And this is only the beginning of their troubles: once the ark sets out, who knows how long they’ll all be at sea? Who knows if the ark will be able to hold its own against the power of nature gone utterly berserk? In the end, none of it will really matter, since you’ll have been bored to tears long before the flood waters even cover your baby toe.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- If it means a quickie on a roof, saving humanity can just wait 15 minutes.
- If it means a quick tussle under the sheets, then escaping the rising Biblical flood will also just have to wait.
- There’s a lot more rain and wind in the eye of a super storm.
- You can safely transport DNA samples in an empty Evian bottle.
- The secret of human evolution, life, and all philosophical pursuits, ultimately lies with the humble moth.
- Most ships can be rendered utterly useless with a simple power drill.
- It’s easier to pistol whip someone than to answer a stupid question.
- The lesser-spotted cave bee is a key player in upholding the planet’s various ecosystems.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As IMDB will testify, there are many kinds of apocalypses out there but let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a quantum apocalypse. It just sounds like the world will end a lot more stylishly and hardcore than with other kinds of apocalypses. To this movie’s credit there are only a few points where you actually wish the world would end rather than have the movie carry on which, in this sub-genre, is quite something. It’s full of strange characters saving the world that, if this were to actually happen, would leave me rather concerned about humanity’s future but, since that’s not the case, we can all just sick back, relax and watch the world be vacuumed slightly to the left.
The end of the world all began one evening in a dark and geeky control room. The good people of the USSA (what I understand to be the movie’s rough equivalent of NASA) are monitoring a comet making its way through our stellar neighbourhood and about to make a flyby of Mars. Everything’s going fine until one moment when the scientists turn their backs and this mischievous comet decides it wants to take a sharp right in space. This puts it on a direct collision path with Mars where it proceeds to blow about a third of the planet into space. Everyone’s obviously concerned because now there’s an awful lot of Mars floating around and they need to make sure that none of it’s heading our way. One scientist has a brief flash of genius when he suggests that, while monitoring the pieces of Mars, it might also be interesting to find out what caused the comet to veer off course so suddenly and catastrophically.
To this end the apparently wanting-in-the-genius-department people of the USSA bring in Trish Zane and Tom Lively. These two are the rock stars of the scientific community and the only ones able to figure out what the strange purple half-octopus flying around Earth is. Deciding that very few people would know what a strangelet is the movie decides to go with that. In this instance it’s basically a much better coordinated and far more purple black hole with limited suction. This thing is slowly making its way towards Earth and its effects will gradually become worse. First it’ll be the usual things like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes with certain areas experiencing localised anti-gravity and, when it eventually reaches Earth, the entire planet will be sucked in and its matter deconstructed and rearranged. I, personally, was hoping it would be rearranged into a beautiful floral tapestry but since I had no control over how the movie progressed I powered on.
It’s agreed on by the rock star scientists, regular scientists and the movie’s decidedly white American president that, should the purple strangelet reach us, we’re all pretty fucked. There’s 31 hours until it strikes (a time which doesn’t change for the greater part of the movie) and someone needs to devise a plan on how to stop the thing. This is where the other half of the movie’s characters will come in. Ben, his wife Lynne, !!!AUTISTIC!!! brother Terry and kids Leo and Samantha are just a normal American family trying to hold it all together as the world comes to an end. Terry, however, knows a lot about astronomy and might just know how to halt the purple octopus’ advance on Earth. Now he just needs to convince his family and the American government that he has a vague idea of what he’s talking about.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The Oval Office is just for show. The president’s real office is only marginally bigger than a broom cupboard.
- Mayors answer to no one.
- Cars owned by high school students automatically smell like mildew.
- Al-Qaeda and the Chinese are always suspects when dark matter black holes appear in space.
- Anti-smoking rules do not change just because the world’s coming to an end.
- 3 nuclear missiles are enough to cause a polar shift.
- There will come a day when we all look back on Earth’s near destruction and laugh.
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