When you can’t sleep after watching a movie

it’s rarely because you’re steaming about the awful science.  But last night I finally got around to watch 2012, and yes, the science  was that bad.

It starts out with the “scientist” finding out about neutrinos from an extra large solar flare heating the earth; he calls it “physically impossible”, unfortunately, while he’s right, that doesn’t stop the movie from accepting it as fact.  Now, the sun keeps mysteriously heating the earth’s core for another three years while the plot unfolds.  When the cake is finished to come out of the oven, California is the first place to go, the pacific plate having conveniently changed direction of it’s motion and pulling away from the North American plate.  It takes Arnie with it, so at least no more Terminator movies, you have to think positive.  The next big calamity is (the writer having followed Discovery channel) the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera as a super-volcano.  The ash cloud immediately starts blanketing the country, reaching Washington, DC in 7 hours.  That’s a good 300 mph, must have had a very favorable jet stream.  It also makes it 800 miles to the south to Vegas in that time, the jet stream being slightly schizophrenic and unable to make up its directional mind.

And this is where the believability scale drops from Discovery channel to The Enquirer.  Hell brakes lose, dogs and cats, continents shifting, flood waves, poles reversing, the works.  The white house gets smashed by an aircraft carrier, which someone parked plot-enhancing in Chesapeake bay, instead of safely 1000 miles out in the open ocean.  While the heroes enjoy a smooth ride towards Asia, the continents go for a stroll, shortening their trip by a 1000 miles.  Assuming a 12 h flight time, and some acceleration time, that gives us a good 100 mph, pretty good speed for a land mass.  The poles reverse in the meantime too, about a million times faster than usual, but the movie was too long as it is already.  A 1500 m flood wave cleans out most of the earth, what makes me happy to live at 6300 ft, so I would have to cancel the Florida trip to Disneyland.

So, in a proper apocalypse you’d have high speed continents, worldwide floods, a melting earth crust, the end.

Not in this one, oddly enough, all that continent shifting pole reversal stuff not only used up all that excess thermal energy in the planet, it also seem to have stopped the neutrinos from bothering us further.  After 28 days, the heroes emerge to nice weather and a smooth ocean, completely disproving all those theories about major volcano eruptions clouding the atmosphere for years.  And to top it all off, Africa was on holiday while all this happened, providing a nice landing place for the arks, so it’s left to the viewer to decide if they crash on an uncharted reef as hard as the science.

Somehow alien invasion would have been more believable to lead to the 2012 cataclysm, rather than the presented series of events, but he made that movie already.


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