2012/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Sasha: (to Antonov) Come on, baby. Lift your big ass for Sasha!

  • Cliché Storm: Deliberate. Even includes cliches that haven't been in movies for a few years, at no extra cost!
  • Complete Monster: Anheuser was probably intended to be this. He has anyone who attempts to warn the population of the impending destruction assassinated, double-crosses Satnam and leaves him to die, and pulls You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on hundreds of poverty-stricken Chinese workers. However... see Designated Villain and Straw Man Has a Point below.
  • Creator's Pet: Jackson's son thinks Gordon is a great guy and he'd like him if he only got to know him. The extent of Gordon's characterization is making chauvinistic remarks to Kate and all but refusing to fly a plane when their lives depend on it.
    • He didn't "refuse", he wasn't sure he could do it safely (and was just a little panicked at the time), and he also talks Yuri's wife out of plastic surgery despite being a plastic surgeon.
  • Designated Villain: Carl Anheuser. Though he makes some good points about how to keep as many people alive as possible, namely by not endangering the remaining human race by letting the rest of the refugees on board, racing against time and, if they survive that, the strain on their remaining resources. He doesn't even tell his own mother to board, though he has good reason: she's "89 years old, in a wheelchair, and has slight dementia. And I'm confident that she would want to go ready to meet her maker on her own terms."
    • That said though, there was no excuse for him calling out Adrian for wanting to call his dad and at least get some final words knowing full well he'll never see him again. You think he'd at least have some sympathy there.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Russians.
    • Carl Anheuser has some fans.
  • Crazy Awesome: Charlie Frost, again.
  • Ham and Cheese: Woody Harrelson gloriously overacts in each of his scenes, completely stealing the show.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Japan getting destroyed by an earthquake. Come a few months later, the country was hit by this and a tsunami.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: As Film Brain pointed out, Woody Harrelson once again playing someone named Charlie.
  • Memetic Mutation: "The neutrinos have mutated!"
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Yuri leaving Tamara, Gordon, and the Curtis family for dead.
      • Although Yuri's saving his children before falling at least 50 feet to his demise does show that he did have redeeming qualities.
      • Furthermore, whoever gave out passes to the arks should be blamed, thus not making it entirely Yuri's fault.
    • Yuri bringing his girlfriend along in the first place, knowing he's going to leave her behind just when she thinks she's safe.
    • Anheuser has the Arks launched early, leaving behind the refugees and passengers of Ark 3, even though there was plenty of room and enough time to board them. Lampshaded by an outraged Adrian when shown his quarters.

"What the hell is this?! You could fit ten people in here!"

      • The film even picks up on this. Once Anheuser makes this decision, his influence over the crew dramatically declines, to the point where they begin to question his leadership.
  • MST3K Mantra: Just enjoy it as a story about the human spirit in the face of adversity, plus copious amounts of Stuff Blowing Up, and this might turn out to be a decent film in an undemanding sort of way.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here.
  • So Bad It's Good: The 'movie' part of the movie, which is loaded with unintentional humor, wooden acting, implausible scenarios, etc. Balanced out by the special effects.
  • Special Effects Failure: Very little (Roland Emmerich and all), but the real water in the climax is pretty striking next to the CGI water we've seen throughout the film.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: Enough so that you begin to wonder if maybe the heartless, cynical presidential advisor is actually supposed to be more reasonable than everyone else. Everything that the bleeding-heart scientist challenges him on, he has a smart and ready rebuttal for. "You sold tickets on the life-saving ark-ships to the world's richest people?" "Yeah, how else do you think we could afford to build them?" "We've got to let those workmen on board!" "If you wanna give up your ticket to save them, be my guest!" "We have to risk the entire mission to save that last crowd of people!!" "Are you kidding me?!"
    • Of course, Adrian has a point, too. Simply for genetic reasons, if you start cutting out one group of people to increase the odds of survival of another, humanity is jolly well fucked, and even beyond that, once you start, where does it stop? As the republicans like to say, it's a slippery slope, and it's not wholly unreasonable to see that mindset leading to one person being left alive, after killing the penultimate human on earth, again to increase their odds of living another day.
      • Problem is its a combination of if they have the time to save more without risking those that are safe, and if they have the space/supplies to sustain the extra people. Yes Adrian argued ten people could be fit in his room, but would those ten people get enough food?
        • Not to mention the troubles of waste disposal, hygiene, the spread of disease and the psychological factors involved in intense overcrowding.
    • Going back to Anheuser's wrong doing, if he had actually bothered to let the people on the boat in the first place. They may have had time to get out of range of the tsunami. He's the one who pretty much stalls the boat leading to the arguments. So he's just as guilty as Adrian is for nearly getting everyone killed.
  • Tear Jerker: The movie is loaded with these.
  • The Scrappy: Whoa boy Noah. The kid has no redeeming qualities and spends the entire movie being a douche to his dad, and then a douche to Gordon. Oh and his whole supposed "heartwarming goodbye" to his dad? Not so heartwarming when you consider he's wasting valuable time and it's his fault that Tamara drowned.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The main characters see people in Arab dress boarding the ships, and assume that they must be oil tycoons who paid for tickets. Because, of course, there's no way Arabs could be, for example, scientists or geniuses who had been chosen for inclusion on the ship.
    • To be fair, they notice them at the end of a line of businessmen and rich guys. That comment doesn't have to refer to them specifically.
    • Most of the Russian characters (who are not children) do not survive.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Well duh, it's a Roland Emmerich film. I dare you to watch the thrilling climax in which a colossal ark careens through the flooded Himlayas and not enjoy it.
  • What an Idiot!: At the end, Lily asks when they get to go home. Um, Lily, don't you remember that YOUR ENTIRE HOMETOWN WAS DESTROYED?
    • She's SEVEN...
      • And she saw her hometown destroyed. Hell, she was IN the destruction.
        • There's also a little something called "being in denial" as well. A little girl that age experiencing such a traumatic event would hope that things would be back to the way they were.
    • Gordon, despite the fact that he's the only one with any sort of experience flying a plane, insists that he shouldn't be the one flying multiple times.