L.A. destruction one of pic's best scenes

After blowing up the White House in “Independence Day” and flooding New York in The Day After Tomorrow,” Roland Em-mer-ich manages to top his earlier disaster scenarios by forecasting the obliteration of Los Angeles in “2012.” For nearly an hour, the movie alternates between corny character-building scenes and omens of seismic-mayhem-to-come (big cracks in the pavement, waves big enough to rock a cruise ship), but nothing — not even the trailers — could prepare audiences for the sight of the ground literally falling out from under one of America’s biggest cities. To make the cataclysm that much more entertaining (after all, what are 9 million lives lost?), Emmerich sends limo driver John Cusack racing through the roiling streets of Los Angeles to the airport as overpasses collapse, skyscrapers tumble and a pair of too-slow old ladies drive head first into a cliff that wasn’t there 30 seconds earlier.

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