Saturday, November 14, 2009
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Stars: JOHN CUSACK, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Thomas McCarthy, Woody Harrelson
Director/producer Roland Emmerich has made a name for himself as the man that would destroy the world. In cinematic terms of course. Films like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow have given us a few ideas on what could happen.
Great big sci-fi movies with annihilation as their theme stand as mere hor d’oeuvres next to this year’s main course. With the latest apocalyptic fantasy ‘2012’, Emmerich beats his own world record for the cheesiest film of the genre. He steals from 50s B-movies through to Dan Brown, and everything in between!
This CGI extravaganza takes its inspiration from predictions of the end of the world, namely the Mayan Long-count Calendar system which measures time in cycles. The next cycle will end on December 21st 2012. This has led some to reason that the Maya predicted the end of civilization, or at least a pole-shift and the destruction of the planet. A misconception perhaps. As the movie devotes less than five seconds to the Mayan Calendar, so will I.
The world is coming to an end, and a better than average cast, including Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, and Woody Harrelson, do the best they can with overly-sentimental, and at times, ludicrous dialogue. Not forgetting the various absurd motivations of their characters.
Critics have generally slated the bad script. Even our hero and chief protagonist, struggling writer Jackson Curtis, played effortlessly by John Cusack dressed in his usual black suit, does not escape a hammering.
But how can a script be bad when you have Lethal Weapon’s Detective Murtaugh (Danny Glover) as the President of the United States, and the Governor of California impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger, telling us everything is going to be alright, just as the Whitehouse explodes?
Although completely and utterly ridiculous, 2012 is still fantastic fun, keeping you on the edge-of-your-seat for the entire two and a half hours that it rolls on screen. There are so many holes in this noisy, brash adventure, pointing them out just spoils the fun. Leave your commonsense, and anything you learned in science class at home and you won’t be disappointed.
We’ve seen it all before, but every disaster-movie cliché here just adds to the enjoyment. Strange enough, there are some scenes that people might actually find offensive. Is it stupid? Yes. Is it funny? Yes. Is it worth going to the cinema to watch? Absolutely! I wouldn’t miss it for the world.