2012 (Theatrical Release -2009) Nov 19, 2009 11:00:43 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Nov 19, 2009 11:00:43 GMT -5
Ridiculously over the top. Filled with junk science. Outlandish.
And a lot of fun.
That could very easily sum up the Mother Of All Disaster Movies, 2012.
2012 was the brainchild of director Roland Emmerich, who is no stranger to global disaster movies, starting with the near disaster of Stargate, going further into the alien invasion of Independence Day, bringing a version of Godzilla to New York in Godzilla, and culminating with the global warming/cooling disaster that takes out most of the northern hemisphere in The Day After Tomorrow.
But those were all warm-ups. They just prepared him to make the biggest disaster movie of them all, covering the end of the world (as we know it) in 2012.
There is nothing particularly new in 2012. In fact, 2012 could be seen as the combination of most of the disaster movies we've seen up to this point. It's got the giant earthquake(s) of Earthquake, the vocanoes of Dante's Peak and Volcano, the airplane crises of the Airport movies, a ship in peril like The Poseidon Adventure (or more like the remake, Poseidon), and it's got the environmental disasters of The Day After Tomorrow. 2012 pretty much covers ALL of the disaster bases. Thus the, "Over the topness," of the movie.
The ridiculousness is actually somewhat tongue in cheek. Cars outrunning and outmaneuvering the destruction of a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) earthquake, planes just barely outrunning the destruction of a runway due to earthquake/vocanic eruption, this one has several sequences where our protagonists just barely escape death and destruction by the slimmest of margins (over and over again). But Emmerich celebrates that ridiculousness in the movie and makes it work.
It's fun - the movie never drags. Even the few character moments and scientific set up scenes are delivered just right to keep the pace of the film going. And there are some decent performances given by the actors, particularly those of John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor (who was also quite good in the Firefly movie, Serenity). Now, none of these performances will be nominated for an Oscar, but most of them are solid, and some (like Cusack and Ejiofor) are a little better than that. Basically, the viewer can buy into the characters, for the most part.
And there are characters that are developed just well enough for the viewer to actually care a little about - you don't want to see them get kille, you root for them to survive the latest peril they find themselves in. The script has just enough depth (not much, but enough) to make these characters work for the movie, rather than detracting from it.
As for the special effects, this is one movie that actually delivers on it's promises, and then some. This is a movie made for the big screen. A BIG screen. Your 47" HDTV will barely be passable. A theatrical movie screen makes this one work a lot better. The visuals are fantastic, and those effects are the real stars of the movie.
If you're looking for a fun roller coaster ride of a movie and aren't looking for anything all that deep and contemplative, then 2012 definitely fits the bill.