Published on November 17th, 2009 | by Erich Becker0
Director Roland Emmerich doesn’t hide his disdain for our little blue planet, or maybe he just sees so many opportunities to kill millions in the most spectacular ways possible. What are the logical chances that the USS John F. Kennedy, pushed by a gigantic tsunami, hits the White House head on and destroys it? Certainly the shot in question is going for a bit of CGI nostalgia as the last time Emmerich destroyed the White House Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum destroyed an alien civilization with a Macintosh.
Years after the vastly disappointing Day After Tomorrow, Roland is back to distribute destruction spectacle like no other. Michael Bay must sit home at night wondering how he can get Emmerich to marry him, or at least return his phone calls. 2012 is based on the well known Mayan prediction that December 21, 2012 will results in the end of the world, in this film that equates to the Earth’s crust shifting, massive title waves, and a few hundred thousand being saved aboard arks the government has been constructing for three years.
While the story is as far fetched as they come, you really aren’t traveling to your local Cineplex for award winning dialog and a character piece bestowed with emotion, instead you want to see the world come to an end in the most awesome way possible. For the first 90 minutes, 2012 delivers everything you could possible ask for (and more), but when the script ends the world and starts to focus on the 2D characters we were forced to escape from a host of perilous situations the wheels come tumbling off.
Really we don’t care about failed author Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) or his ex-wife, or their kids, her new boyfriend. We don’t care about Oliver Platt’s power grab after the President (Danny Glover) bites the big one (that isn’t much of a spoiler; you see it coming like a 1,000 foot tidal wave). There just isn’t enough to get excited about, the “good” characters survive and the underlying theme of putting your well being aside to save the greater good was done hundreds of times better twenty five years ago in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
So you’ll be munching on popcorn for well over two hours, enjoying every minute of the collapse of modern civilization, you’ll be beaten over the head a few times with morals so blatantly obvious that anyone who doesn’t get it should be purged from the gene pool, and finally the film kind of ends with the remains of human civilization setting sail to start a new life, and give Emmerich new ideas on how he can have them perish into the bowels of the planet.