Roland Emmerich's 2012 is not just another schlock disaster movie with overwrought CGI and abysmal dialogue. No, 2012 is, in fact, the story of one young girl's quest to overcome personal adversity, a Hero's Journey that would make the late Joseph Campbell weep, if he still had tear ducts with which to weep.
Our story begins with the innocence of Eden. In this case, Eden includes estranged divorced parents, prematurely jaded sons, and seven-year-old daughters who need to bring Pull-Ups on a camping trip because they still wet the bed. Dad's running late to pick up the kids for a weekend camping trip, which only serves to convince his son that Dad's replacement in Mom's bed is a Much Cooler Guy. Mom rolls her eyes and wonders why she ever married this loser, let alone allowed him to father her two children. Daughter is happy as long as she has her Pull-Ups and her collection of hats to protect her head from the truth that is Out There.
The family camping trip is marred by the Federal Government prohibiting access to a favorite lake, which has recently become an ex-lake; walloped with a dose of major downer by a tinfoil hat nutter who specializes in conspiracy radio; and cut short by a televised report of a severe earthquake which rends the hometown grocery store in two, prophetically sundering Mom and Cohabiting Boyfriend down the middle of Aisle 6.
Dad and kids hurry home, arriving just in time to pick up Mom and Cohabiting Boyfriend before the earth's crust starts buckling and cracking and dropping California into the Pacific Ocean. Dad gets behind the wheel and takes off in the first of many suspension-of-disbelief near-miss races against the lava-riddled dropoffs which, in the manner of a good Scooby-Doo villain, follow closely behind the Good Guys but never quite catch up.
It's the end of the world as we know it. People die. Lots of people die. Fred Sanford puts in a cameo appearance as the President of the United States: "I'm coming home!" Fire and flood and terror and tsunami ensue. Our intrepid young heroine, surrounded by heroic Helpers, braves it all.
And when all is said and done, the whole damn Apocalypse proves to be the Universe's series of personally assigned tests to lead this young woman on a Heroic Quest to achieve her boon:
"No more Pull-Ups, Daddy."
Cue the credits with heartwarming music as the Promised Land rolls into view.
Amethyst Ryder only watched 2012 because she had a free Redbox code and nothing better to use it on.