One could edit a 35-40 minute version of 2012 with only the CGI sequences of the world falling apart, and it would be enough. In fact, it would be more enjoyable than the current 158 minutes version with its preachy pro-family narrative. No one in their right mind goes to see the film to watch John Cusack reunite with his family. It's for those crumbling buildings and the world's largest volcano that once was Yellowstone. In that aspect, I found it plenty satisfying.
A few notes: as opposed to ID4, the American president does not save the world. Emmerich has now noticed that there are other nations on earth. Even Germans. And there are more African-Americans in the Oval Office than there have ever been, possibly including this administration.
Question: The US has a black president, the German Chancellor is a woman and the Californian governor is an actor with an Austrian accent. So why is the Italian prime minister a God-fearing family man with receding grey hair? Wishful thinking?