The first time we see John Cusack in [movie id="381911"]"2012,"[/movie] he says he's about to be killed: The guy's late to pick up his kids for a camping trip and his ex-wife is not the forgiving type. About 30 minutes later — and really, for the next two hours — that hyperbolic sentiment becomes frighteningly real when Los Angeles (and then the rest of the planet) disintegrates into a fiery, tsunami-swept wasteland.
Director Roland Emmerich has made disaster movies aplenty ([movie id="94239"]"Independence Day,"[/movie] [movie id="231708"]"The Day After Tomorrow"[/movie]) but Cusack argued in a recent MTV News interview that "2012" is no disastrous flick.
"This is more of an apocalypse movie!" he declared.
Cusack plays Jackson Curtis, a struggling fiction writer who catches wind of the impending end-of-times just before the destruction kicks into Oh-my-God-everyone's-gonna-die mode. He grabs his kids, his ex-wife (Amanda Peet) and her rich dude lover, and they all embark on the world's most treacherous road trip, running, flying and driving across the road in the hope of making it to safe territory. But there's just not a lot of that left.
"This has to do with people trying to figure out, 'What do you do when there is no escape and there is no way out?' " Cusack said. "So you have a much more existential vibe than just, 'How do we survive this disaster?' "
The scale of the devastation is staggering, the body count chilling, the action one-upping itself until the bounds of rationality have been joyfully left behind in the rubble. "This one has what you would see in the climax of a movie [released] 15 years ago, that was the biggest movie that Hollywood had ever made — that happens in the first act," Cusack explained. "And then you're going, 'Where is he going to go from here?' "
To explain where they do go would be to veer too far into the realm of spoilers. Let's just say that after "2012," any filmmaker is going to have to think a bit bigger — to travel a bit farther abroad — to out-apocalypse Emmerich. "You've got to go intergalactic because the Earth is pretty much covered on this one," Cusack laughed. "The moon, I guess? But then I saw the military blew up the moon, or tried to explode the moon. I thought that was fantastic. They've got to go do a disaster movie on something other than Earth."
Check out everything we've got on "2012."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.