- 2 hr 38 min
Scientists in 2009 discover that a solar flare is heating the Earth's temperature at an alarming rate and that the world will end within a few years. The President of the United States begins a secret project funded by countries the world over to build spaceship "arks" in China meant to transport humans and ensure the survival of some of the world's population. Only 400,000 people are chosen to board these crafts to safety and tickets are sold to uninformed civilians for an extravagant amount per person in attempt to pack the ships with the wealthiest members of society while the rest of the world carries on in ignorance of the impending disaster. Two years later in 2012 a failing writer, Jackson Curtis, learns the truth during a vacation to Yellowstone with his family. A conspiracy theorist shows Jackson information about the phenomena, Mesoamerican apocalypse theories, the ark project and the attempts to keep all the information secret. As earthquakes and tsunamis begin ravaging the world, Jackson collects his family to try and make it to the arks. They escape Los Angeles as the city sinks into the ocean and return to Yellowstone for maps to find the arks' location. They must escape, however, when the Yellowstone Caldera erupts and the conspiracy theorist dies. Jackson's group finds out that the arks are in China and head to Las Vegas to find a larger plane. Here they run into Jackson's former employer who has tickets to board an ark. The larger group finds a new plane and begins their journey to China. Their plane crashes in China but they're spotted by military helicopters carrying animals to the arks which stop to take the ticket wielding members of the group, but leave the others behind. Jackson and the remainder of his people are picked up by a Buddhist monk headed for the arks and they stowaway on Ark 4, the ship housing the United States' refugees. A tsunami hits before the shuttle can launch and an impact driver lodges in the gears that control the ark's doors, preventing them from closing or allowing the shuttle to leave. The shuttle is swept adrift, but Jackson and his son are able to remove the driver and crews stop the from crashing into Mount Everest. After the flood the arks travel to South Africa and the Drakensberg mountains and Jackson reunites with his family.