A guide to the CGI Apocalypse

The year’s end is nigh, and earth has yet to face down the apocalypse. All signs point to oblivion, what with Twinkies going extinct and all. Dec. 21 is just a few weeks away, so all these conspiracy theories will finally be resolved. But while the world waits, here are some apocalypse survival skills, if the apocalypse turns out to be anything like a Roland Emmerich film. Audiences may know Emmerich’s world-ending quests “Independence Day” and “2012.”

1. Find a well-known actor and stay with them.

Awful things happen to innocent civilians in disaster movies. However, the major actors survive the climax. Hey, audiences didn’t pay $10 to see John Cusack bite the bullet at the beginning! They also seem to know the president, which can get them places normal civilians can’t go. Remember Jeff Goldblum in “Independence Day?” His ex-wife just happened to be a presidential aide. The president was Bill Pullman. That’s right, Bill Pullman. ’90s flashback.

2. Don’t do what the authorities tell you. Do what Jeff Goldblum tells you.

This man destroys aliens in two different franchises, and he’s an expert at it now. Jeff Goldblum is a close second. He survived “Independence Day” and “Jurrassic Park.” If one follows their every move, they are guaranteed to stay one step ahead of every explosion. You would escape tight spots when the countdown clock hits one second. See: President escapes the White House in “Independence Day” and John Cusack escapes Yellowstone in “2012.”

3. Don’t trust the government.

In our normal world (so boring, isn’t it?), it’s a good idea to follow the law. If one doesn’t, they will go to prison. Laws are made to keep civilized people safe. But if audiences find themselves disaster movie targets, law adherence will spell the end really fast. What Hollywood wants audiences to know is entire cities of collateral damage are OK, and rich people who can pay to survive the next flood via gigantic boats are the only ones who will survive. If you want to survive, don’t obey the martial law put in place in an attempt to contain the situation. Do what Jeff Goldblum tells you. Refer to No. 2.

4. Make sure the survival team includes a pseudo-scientist.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but one simply won’t survive the apocalypse without a character who can explain the situation’s scientific parameters and look foreboding while doing it. Although “Jurassic Park” isn’t a disaster film, Sam Neill as Alan Grant is a great example. He explains the dinosaur science while he gasps for air and gives audiences a freaky grin, like he knows something they don’t. Well played, Sam Neill, well played. See: Dennis Quaid’s meteorologist in “The Day After Tomorrow” and Jeff Goldblum’s satellite expert in “Independence Day.”

5. Run.

About the best thing one can do to survive a disaster film is to run, unless Will Smith tells them not to. When the aliens first beamed down their destructo-rays in “Independence Day,” everyone stared. They are idiots. Aliens are not your friends, and that giant explosion ahead will kill everyone. If audiences find themselves near a religious symbol, they should move now. Roland Emmerich likes to make those crumble first. Audiences may have to evacuate to Mexico, considering Emmerich likes social commentary where Americans become the illegal immigrants.

It’s a bummer Dec. 21 is a Friday, but if everything ends, it’s been a fun ride. If it doesn’t, then audiences should rent “2012,” breathe a sigh of relief, pop the popcorn and watch a giant ship crush the White House. Ahh, Friday night entertainment.

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About Karsten Burgstahler

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at kburgstahler@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.255.

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