Director Roland Emmerich’s latest batch of disaster porn—2012—has just firebombed itself into theaters, and if John Cusack’s exaggerated reactions are any indication, the future of the world doesn’t look too bright. (Heck, spend fifteen minutes at your local Wal-Mart and I could have told you that). This week in order to properly honor the world of cinematic destruction, I thought it might be fun depressing to look at other ridiculous disaster movie moments. You know, those scenes that make you wish the world really was coming to an end.
The Happening – Lion Tamer
Back when the Sixth Sense came out in 1999, I was one of the legions of people who really looked forward to seeing what director M. Night Shyamalan was capable of. Nowadays, I’d rather jerk off with sandpaper than catch the new M. Night flick. Case in point: 2008’s The Happening. It’s a disaster movie about killer wind. With Mark Wahlberg. And, John Leguizamo. It’s like Shyamalan has created something so obscenely bad that he’s practically daring us to watch it. “Let’s go f-ckers. Come and see my latest abortion! I double dog dare ya!”
While several ridiculous moments from this movie come to mind, for me, the winner comes in the form of a lion cage and an iPhone. You see, Mark Wahlberg is stranded in a small town diner with a bunch of other worried morons when a lady invites them all to watch a video she received from her sister. The result is good times all around—we get to see a group of people huddled around a phone watching with disbelief as some dude willingly gets his arms mauled by lions. Although it may not seem possible, there’s just something about the way it’s edited that makes it friggin’ hilarious. To top it off, we get a stunningly bad piece of dialogue from the woman. “What kind of terrorists are these?” she says. Now, if I was in the movie, this is point where I would have stepped in and said, “They’re f-cking lions, lady!”
Armageddon – That’s your Daddy
I’ve never been a fan of Armageddon. Back in 1998 when Deep Impact and this flick were juking it out for asteroid destruction supremacy, I was too busy playing video games and eating Twinkies to really care. In retrospect, this is truly an awful movie. I have several moments that I abhor, but the one that makes me weep for the art of screenwriting occurs when the wife of one of the drillers turned astronauts notices that her deadbeat husband is in fact not such a screw-up, and is actually attempting to save the world. She then turns to their child (whom she previously denied her husband’s existence to) and states “That’s not a salesman, honey. That’s your Daddy.”
It’s not like Michael Bay has ever been one for subtlety, but at this moment he could have choke-raped his entire audience while in the theater and it still would have felt less over the top. You ever seen a line in a movie so cheesy that it just makes you want to squirm in pain? Like, you actually feel bad for the actor saying it? This is one of those times. Cue the Aerosmith ballad. I’ll be in the corner. Crying.
Volcano – We’re all equal
If you thought Armageddon was a cheesefest, let me introduce you to a little movie called Volcano. Starring Tommy Lee Jones in perhaps his poorest career decision to date, Volcano not only sucks as a disaster movie, it also has the audacity to get all preachy about race relations. So, it’s like kind of like Crash…with lava.
At the end of the movie, after Anne Heche and Mr. Jones have managed to divert the flow of lava into the ocean, we watch a solemn scene in which people from all over Los Angeles—Blacks, Latinos, Asians—are covered in the gray ashe from the massive eruption. It’s at this time when a young boy turns to look at everybody and makes a stunning observation: “Everyone looks the same.” *shudders*
Why does racial harmony continue to elude us? Because of movies like Volcano, that’s why.
The Core – The entire movie
I tried to single out one particularly ridiculous moment from 2003’s the Core, but I just couldn’t do it. I mean, in a movie where the plot centers around a phallic space ship that must drill a vagina-esque hole into the earth in order to keep it spinning on its axis, where do you even begin to start picking favorites? The entire film seems like a spoof, when it’s in fact, completely serious. Coincidentally, women often say the same thing about my sexual technique. *rawr*
Independence Day – The Fireball Dog
Don’t get me wrong…I love me some Independence Day. If I had my way, Roland Emmerich would have stopped making movies long ago because it’s doubtful that he can ever top this classic. How can you beat the combination of Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Randy Quaid? With Aliens? Welcome to Eurff indeed.
That being said, how we can we forget the moment when Vivica A Fox’s dog manages to jump from an alien fireball of doom to safety. You know what I’m talking about…we watch in glorious slow motion as the aforementioned pooch narrowly escapes incineration and lands safety into his owners outstretched hands. I mean, it’s almost as ridiculous as taking down an entire fleet of alien spaceships with a computer virus. Bravo, Mr. Emmerich. Bravo.
Well, that’s it for me this time, folks. If you need even more of a disaster porn fix, may I suggest you check out this little vid. We all know that bombastic destruction and John Cusack “Yikes” faces are far more compelling with a little Yakety-Sax.
(Thanks to Filmdrunk.com for the tip)