20 things we learned from 2012

1. Always trust barmy talk radio hosts. And twins who look like the mutant offspring of Susan Boyle and Alexei Sayle
2. Feel free to discuss in detail the end of the world over the airwaves. But don’t dare call a press conference or you’ll be ‘Diana’d’
3. The Queen will ensure the survival of a breeding pair of corgis, but doesn’t seem so worried about Phil the Greek
4. The London Olympics will be mysteriously switched to the week before Christmas
5. The US order of succession goes president-VP-speaker-loudest, most obnoxious, fattest person left alive
6. Flying between two falling buildings is covered within the first couple of lessons at pilot school
7. Roland Emmerich watched the BBC’s ‘Supervolcano’ – and took notes
8. The apocalypse can cut your commute from Las Vegas to China
9. Yet nobody in Asia seems unduly perturbed by the above
10. Breast enhancement will NOT aid buoyancy
11. Not that it matters, as breast surgeons don’t work for free – even for their girlfriends
12. Stretched limos and camper vans have excellent suspension systems. Bentleys less so.
13. Modern aircraft engines can easily survive being filled with dust. Or, indeed, rubble
14. Your mobile phone, satnav, and most other gadgets will work just fine (when the plot demands it)
15. Real estate investments in Wisconsin are looking a bit dodgy right now
16. Monks in remote Tibetan valleys speak remarkably good English
17. As do People’s Liberation Army generals, even if they are portrayed a bit like the Kim Jong-il puppet in Team America
18. Russian gangsters care more about their dogs than their molls
19. The apocalypse is a remarkably good cure for bed-wetting
20. The end of the world will arrive before quarter past eight!

And 12 reasons why you might still want to watch it;
1. While the plot is full of holes (see above) it’s tremendous fun
2. It’s Emmerich’s best so far (admittedly not saying much)
3. John Cusack is always watchable
4. The rest of the cast ain’t too bad either. Amanda Peet (in a woefully underwritten part), Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, President Danny Glover and, especially, Woody Harrelson, all put in a shift and bring back a few memories of the golden days of 70s disaster hokum
5. There are some truly stunning effects shots
6. And one or two surprises along the way
7. There’s a neat sub-plot which brings to mind Alexander Haig‘s political career
8. And Emmerich has stolen wisely, from many sources, including When Worlds Collide and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (think Augustus Gloop X 2)
9. err
10. did I say 12?
11. Well….
12. OK, so it’s not going to be troubling the Oscars judges, but it’s a good night out and the kind of guilty pleasure you’ll be slipping onto the DVD player whenever you want some brainless fun – especially in 2012

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