Running Time: 158 minutes
Starring: John Cusack, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson
Directed By: Roland Emmerich
Rating: 2 out of 10
Humanity battles for survival during the world’s last few days as we know it.
I figured this movie would be very apropos to review figuring there is a little bit over a month left until the end of the world according to the Mayans. If this is actually one of the last movies I get to watch then I will leave this world pretty angry. 2012 is the story of the earth facing a phenomenon of cataclysmic proportions. It follows the struggles of humanity as they try to survive this global catastrophe.
This movie plays out very much like an episode of the Amazing Race except the prize is staying alive. I can make this very easy for you, and tell you right away not to watch this piece of tripe. If you want keep reading then here we go. If you have seen one disaster movie then this film should not surprise you at all. Things blow up and the main characters try to survive. The film is broken down into two main storylines. The first storyline involves the superpowers of the globe as they strategize a plan to survive the end of the world. The second storyline follows the path of a family, as they battle to stay alive off the coast of California. Neither story is engaging, and the characters are so poorly constructed that it is almost insulting the viewer has to watch this. It is quite clear this movie is all about blowing stuff up and throws everything else out the window. Buildings collapse, earthquakes tear cities apart, volcanoes erupt, people die, and the viewer is assaulted with recognizable world landmarks being destroyed. That was the big payoff in this film, seeing things like the Washington monument collapse, or a tidal wave destroy a major city was what this film was passing off as cool. Here is an idea, how about throw in a plausible story so people can enjoy the visuals? The main characters run, drive, fly, and are always seeming to stay one step ahead of the most insane explosions and earth rending quakes you will ever see in a film. I know this is added for excitement but it is sickening the amount of times this occurs. As a train literally takes flight across the screen I realized this was as good as it this film was going to get. The film also never decides if it is supposed to be a drama or an action/comedy. For every touching last minute phone call between a son and a father, there is a joke about wetting the bed. For every heroic gesture or act where someone sacrifices them self, there is a scene where a dog takes president over human lives. It is a terrible blend of genres and it is hard even to write about without getting upset.
This film has an okay cast but the movie is so bad it just exposes all of their flaws. John Cusack is a mess as a novel writer trying to save his family. There is something about his look and delivery that will never work in a film like this. Danny Glover as the president? Thandie Newton as the president’s daughter? Oliver Platt as a high ranking government official? Who cast this film? Obnoxious kids, horribly thought up Russian characters, and even Woody Harrelson playing a crazy person make this film truly god awful.
So after realizing all this film cared about was destroying this planet in the most elaborate ways possible, the computer graphics were not even that well done. The natural disasters are cool in look and design but the buildings and cars needed a lot more work for realism. This film teaches you that it isn’t that hard to make your way to China when things go to hell and billions of people are dying all over the world. The cherry that is the topping of this bad tasting sundae is the film is an inexplicable three hours long. Trust me it doesn’t need to be, let me correct that, it doesn’t deserve to be that long. When the end finally comes and the explosions have quieted down, it will be a long time before a natural disaster movie finds its way into my DVD player. It shook my faith in the genre that much.
Disaster director (Both in genre and in talent) Roland Emmerich hasn’t found a famous building he hasn’t wanted to blow up (See Independence Day or The Day After Tomorrow.) This guy is like Michael Bay without the special effects budget. This film is like he told a bunch of random people to run into a building and then he blows it up with TNT. There is no plot, no character development, and no real fear for the world’s populace. It was all about grandiose visual spectacles that will appeal to very few.
I cannot recommend this film as not only did the earth shake in this film it also shook my patience.
T Factor + If you like disaster films than this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you don’t like John Cusack as an actor than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Day After Tomorrow, Dante’s Peak