made-for-the-Hallmark Channel TV mini-series about the United States being
struck by a series of earthquakes wastes no time in getting started: the
first ten minutes or so sees entire coastal cities being submerged by a
gigantic tidal wave, not to mention an ocean liner being capsized by said
It plays a bit like a greatest hits of all disaster movies
montage and all this rather gleeful mass scale destruction is kinda
difficult to resist to be honest. That the CGI effects are quite cheesy and
obvious makes it even more fun.
The plot also plays like a ?best of disaster movies? as several subplots and
a myriad of characters intertwine. The dialogue is dull, but one simply has
to admire the actors who spend a lot of time standing around looking shocked
and aghast at all the mayhem thought up by the series? screenwriters. In
true End of the World movie tradition several famous and not so famous
American landmarks ?gets? it, the first being that huge Hollywood sign.
Unfortunately the destruction is limited to the West Coast and Mid-West so
there are no scenes of aliens blowing up the White House. Oh sorry, that's
another movie . . . (Highlights include the Hoover dam and Mount Rushmore.)
Soon after 9/11 commentators wondered whether that real-life disaster meant
the end of the disaster movie. Nope, not only were we treated to the likes
of Poseidon and The Core on the big
screen, but the Hallmark Channel seems to delight in this sort of thing (see
my review of Supernova, another one of their shows). In fact
is a sequel to 10.5, a show which apparently featured only one earthquake. This
one ups the ante by having several earthquakes due to rapidly shifting
tectonic plates that splits the U.S. of A. geographically into two and has
the entire Las Vegas swallowed by quicksand in the process (I kid you not).
It's all rather fun actually, even if the characters aren't particularly
interesting and while the scenes of mass destruction looks like something
your thirteen-year-old nephew might have generated on his PC, some of the
disaster scenes looks rather well-done and of big screen movie quality. The
plot clips along rather nicely although weariness sets in at the third-way
mark (it is 169 minutes long!) things soon pick up as a ridiculous subplot
about blowing up Texan oil wells to prevent an even bigger disaster from
happening kicks in.
That is when knows this movie is sheer unadulterated fantasy: the fictional
president played here by Beau Bridges may resemble a slightly pudgier George
W. Bush, but there is no way in hell that the real George W. would have
ordered those oil wells destroyed!
THE DISC: No extras.
WORTH IT? If you have an appreciation for this sort of clichéd silliness,
then 10.5 Apocalypse isn't a bad way to kill three hours of daytime TV
viewing. Sometimes the unnecessarily nervous camerawork and editing
threatens to spoil one's enjoyment of the film, but then another zinger
piece of dialogue like ?Your brother died a hero, you know? comes along and
you're in Mystery Science Theater 3000 heaven again.
RECOMMENDATION: Goofy and never emotionally overwrought