Nobody makes a better movie trailer than [movieperson id="78438"]Roland Emmerich —[/movieperson] the man behind "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Godzilla." And while many might be tempted to insert a joke here about how good or bad those movies actually turned out to be, we'll hold our tongues and simply say this: "2012" looks awesome.
So, with our fingers crossed that the November 13 apocalyptic action flick actually delivers the goods, we present our shot-by-shot breakdown of the latest masterpiece by the world's greatest movie-trailer director:
Shot 1: "Mankind's Earliest Civilization ... "
Shot 2: Some Mayan ruins
Shot 3: " ... Warned Us ... "
Shot 4: Outer space. Uh-oh, this isn't looking good for the little blue marble we call home.
Shot 5: " ... This Day Would Come." Darkening forests and the eclipsed sun, with the words playing over them.
Shot 6: A news reporter on TV: "This mass suicide adheres to the Mayan calendar, which predicts the end of times to occur on the 21st of December of this year." The screen is ominously squiggly, natch.
Shot 7: We see rioting in the streets, statues crumbling, cops losing control. In the immortal words of Dr. Peter Venkman: "dogs and cats living together."
Shot 8: People pray, bats take flight into the sky and the pope addresses his followers.
Shot 9: The TV turns off.
Shot 10: But here come our heroes! [movieperson id="14511"]John Cusack[/movieperson], driving in a Winnebago with his kids, says, "What are the odds?" If Lloyd Dobler is an action hero, than I'd place the odds at roughly 57:2, since the only other action film he's made in his nearly 60-film career is 1997's "Con Air."
Shot 11: This is waaaay worse than nearly messing up his romance with Ione Skye! Asteroids start dropping out of the sky, narrowly missing Cusack's Winnebago.
Shot 12: In the best bit of mobile-home maneuvering since Jack Nicholson got behind the wheel for "About Schmidt," Cusack's academic researcher Jackson Curtis dodges those ground-pummeling balls of fire.
Shot 13: The real stars of the movie — death and destruction — get to work. We see Los Angeles' 405 freeway collapsing, cars being shaken out of parking garages and into the street and Vatican City crumbling as priests pray for help.
Shot 14: The dome on top of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome goes flying toward the camera. So sacrilegious — and yet, so cool to watch.
Shot 15: "From Roland Emmerich ... "
Shot 16: A voice says, "I thought I'd have more time," as we see our own smoldering ruins.
Shot 17: " ... The director of 'Independence Day' ... "
Shot 18: How timely! An African-American president addresses the world. For once, Danny Glover is not too old for this sh--.
Shot 19: " ... And 'The Day After Tomorrow.' "
Shot 20: A jet flies away as the Earth beneath it collapses. Amanda Peet shields a child's eyes from the sight. Wow, after "Identity," "Martian Child" and now this, are Peet and Cusack the new Zac Efron/ Vanessa Hudgens or what?
Shot 21: People head for shelter in what looks like snow-covered India.
Shot 22: Cities burn, people are relocated.
Shot 23: Now there is a money shot: Cusack, Pete and friends seem to be watching as the Pacific coastline drops into the ocean. Note to self: Pay homeowner's insurance.
Shot 24: People reconvene in some snowcapped mountains. "He said that the government is building these ships," Cusack explains.
Shot 25: The government conspiracy is exposed. "So when do we let the people know?" asks the incomparable Chiwetel Ejiofor of the equally awesome (and scared-to-death looking) Oliver Platt.
Shot 26: "Our mission," Platt explains as we see footage of people trying to get aboard these people-transporting crafts, "is to ensure the continuity of our species."
Shot 27: "Wasn't it also decided that people have the right to fight for their lives?" barks Ejiofor.
Shot 28: Cusack and friends do exactly that, as they ... drive a car out of the back of a crash-landing airplane?
Shot 29: Destruction ensues.
Shot 30: "The End ... Is Just the Beginning."
Shot 31: There goes the Washington Monument!
Shot 32: As massive waves hit, perhaps people are beginning to realize that getting aboard those government-run ships wasn't such a good idea.
Shot 33: Cusack and Peet share a passionate kiss.
Shot 34: The U.S.S. John Kennedy — an aircraft carrier that weights 82,000 tons — is carried by a tsunami to Washington, D.C., crushing the White House. Let's just hope that Danny Glover wasn't home.
Shot 35: "No matter what happens," Cusack insists, "we'll all stay together."
Check out everything we've got on "2012."
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