1) I like it that the contrived and ludicrously protracted can’t-close-the-door moment near the end of the film which nearly costs thousands of people their lives (and I think kills a bunch of people anyway) is ENTIRELY THE FAULT of the hero and his family trying to sneak on board the ark without buying a ticket.

2) Since they’re going to have to repopulate the world, there should have been more women than men on board the arks. And post-menopausal women like the Queen and the Tibetan granny should have been left behind – even if this means I wouldn’t have made it on board either (but then I have more skills than either of them – for example, I would be good at morale-boosting humour, propaganda, storytelling, ironical observations and solving problems by thinking out of left field). Also, the Queen’s Corgis should have been left behind.

However, it looks as though Chewy and Thandie will be going at it at any minute, which is a Good Start. They will undoubtedly have many very beautiful and gifted children.

3) I like it that Africa becomes the centre of the universe. And presumably more Africans will have survived than those on other continents, since it hasn’t been submerged. Except you just KNOW the Ark people will immediately establish a sort of two-tier class system in which the indigenous population will immediately be set to work toiling in the mines and it’ll be Apartheid all over again.

4) Also, what are the Presidents & Prime Minsters of the UK, Germany, China, France etc going to do, with no populations left to govern? What is their mandate and what is the point of them now? Are they just going to continue to boss people around, even though it’s a rainbow coalition of survivors? What are they good at, apart from bureaucracy?

5) Poor Gordon. He gets the cruellest death in the film, and no-one even notices, not even his wife, who is just pleased she can get back together with her ex. Even the kid who said he was a decent bloke couldn’t care less once he has his REAL dad back.

6) I liked Sasha the dishy Russian pilot. I think we should have had more of him. And the bit where they drove the Bentley off the plane was witty, though not as exciting as the scene in Terminal Velocity where Nastassja Kinski is locked in the boot of a car which has been pushed out of a plane and Charlie Sheen has to get her out and open his parachute before they hit the ground.

7) The stupid bit with the dog surviving was neither as stupid nor as funny as the stupid bit with the dog surviving in Volcano.

8) I tried holding my breath at the same time as John Cusack was holding his underwater while trying to ungum the hydraulics to get the door closed. I have good lungs and no history of breathing difficulties and can hold my breath longer than most people in my yoga class, but I didn’t make it. So how did Cusack? He’s a WRITER for fuck’s sake. Writers can’t do superhuman things like hold their breaths for ages, and it wasn’t as though he looked terribly fit, though it’s true he did a lot of running away from fireballs and big cracks in the earth.

9) If you want to survive the end of the world, it pays to pal up with Buddhist monks, Russian plutocrats, crazy DJs and a couple of pilots.

10) Nobody – but NOBODY – smoked. This is the End of the World, for Chrissake. There’s a tsunami the height of Mount Everest coming your way, and if that doesn’t get you the pyroclastic cloud erupting out of your nearest caldera certainly will. I would light up like a shot. Then again, maybe that’s why John Cusack was able to hold his breath for so long and I wasn’t.


  1. Crossposting this comment from my blog, for double the spoiler action:

    The knackered door moment is a Robert McKee thing delayed until a really late moment in the film. He posits that the inciting incident in a movie should often be caused by a mistake the protagonist makes, and the final act shows the character resolving that mistake and ending up in a better situation than he or she was at the beginning. Having John Cusack make a mistake in the final act (or the fifth act, as I’ve decided to call it seeing as how the movie is 79 hours long) fills this criteria.

    I think only two people die: Gordon the Forgotten Plastic Surgeon and the Russian Bride. Still, at least she saves that dog! Halfway through the film I thought Cusack would die, as he was “immortalised” by having his book turn up on the Ark, but when Gordon died, there was no way he was going to die. Weak sauce.

    The Africa bit pleased me as well. It’s a nice antidote to the terrible ending of Knowing where (SPOILER ALERT) the kids are transported to a figurative Garden of Eden by a host of angelic aliens, which takes its New Age/Judeo-Christian cake and eats it. Here we see humanity return to the birthplace of humanity as explained by science. And then, as you say, slavery will return. Maybe the TV show sequel will explain all of this.

    And OMG you win a thousand Internet points for mentioning Terminal Velocity! That final action scene was beautifully storyboarded. But yeah, poor Sasha the pilot. As with Gordon he had two strikes against him: not a famous actor, and no more planes so he no longer serves a purpose. add to that the little cross gesture he does, and he was doomed. That actor (Johann Urb, who was also in the now-cancelled Eastwick) was livelier than the role deserved. Hope he turns up in something else.

  2. Are you telling me not a single person (apart from Gordon and the Russian chick and the Chinese engineer's foot) got drowned or crushed or fatally concussed when all that water poured in through the bow doors? They might not have been centre-frame, but there were an awful lot of people being tossed around there. (I'm afraid I did keep thinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster while this was going on.)

  3. There could well have been deaths, but as we didn't see them, they didn't happen. Just like the billions of other people who died. When that wave hit Washington, only Noble President Danny Glover died and that was okay because he chose to.

    Remember, we shouldn't be thinking about the deaths, just the destruction. The movie bends over backwards to distract us from that. There's only a couple of moments where we see the deaths of people who have not given everyone permission to leave them behind, which was a couple more than I thought we would get. During the LA earthquake scene you see people running around, but not getting crushed. Where are they going to go? They're dead too, just not onscreen. Oops, don't think about it. Look! A pipe has ruptured and is spewing poop everywhere!

    And yes, that is a terrible terrible cheat. Can't have anyone thinking negative thoughts during our roller-coaster ride! (Which — full disclosure — I enjoyed quite a lot.)

  4. I'm sure we can work a lame Schrödinger's Cat reference into this somewhere, like Flash Forward. Which, incidentally, I gave up watching this week, shortly after we see that the killer gunman who has gone to all the trouble of hiding his face with a mask has SOMEHOW FORGOTTEN TO COVER THE DISTINCTIVE TATTOO ON HIS ARM. I ask you.

  5. I'm hanging in there with Flashforward just to enjoy Joseph Fiennes' face. It's so expressive. Okay, so the expressions rarely match the required emotion, but it's fun all the same.

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