Not quite as bad as I’d expected, with some impressive if ridiculously over-the-top end-of-the-world special effects, which are almost as over-the-top as Nicolas Cage, who somehow miraculously manages not to be in it. (John Cusack stars.)
But man is it dumb, even in little ways, for example having a Navy admiral give a rudder command as “Hard to port!” For the better part of a century commands to the helmsman have been given in terms of left and right rudder. The old “hard a-port” is now “right full rudder” (rudder and helm directions being opposite).
That complaint might sound a tad arcane and picky, but there are just so damned many things like that, you start to wonder why they didn’t run the script past a reasonably well-read sixth-grader.
The most offensive gaffe, I thought, was depicting Queen Elizabeth II as one of those elite few chosen to survive the end of the world (and even bringing along her Corgis). Whatever one’s opinion of the woman, this seems unbelievable. She fully remembers what her mother said during World War II when there were suggestions that the royal children should be sent to safety overseas. Her mother replied that she would not send the children away unless she could accompany them, and she could not leave England while the King remained, “and the King will never leave.”
Sadly, there were apparently people who really did expect the world to end late in 2012, at least until they realized there was no real danger of Romney getting elected, and quite a number of others who expected the date to produce instead a great transformation of the world into a better place. So pretty much all of them were disappointed, one way or another.