Are you excited for the upcoming apocalypse? I sure am, as I anxiously await aliens, natural disasters, and all the other calamities to hit us all at once. Actually, this was Roland Emmerich’s thinking going into this movie. He said that he wanted to package all disaster movies into one. And it’s no surprise that this disaster movie is actually a disaster. So, the movie 2012 is not a good movie. However, it’s an excellent “so bad that it’s good movie”. This means it’s entertaining as fuck and that the visuals are simply stunning. Something that should come as no surprise when you consider the $200 million budget.
Never before have I seen so many death scenes look so fucking funny. And I really mean that. I want you to pay close attention to each and every death in the movie 2012 and you’ll realize that. And I’m not talking about scenes where the destruction of a famous landmark is killing people in the thousands. I’m talking about the deaths of the main and supporting characters. Of course, the survivors will make it out in the nick of time, making completely impossible getaways. You would not only need to suspend your belief but your entire central nervous system to go along with these scenes.
I wonder how people watching the movie 2012 in the future will feel about it. Surely the younger generations will not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the 2012 phenomenon. According to an ancient Mayan calendar, after 5,126 years of relative peace, it’s time for major catastrophe. Emmerich also uses parts of the story from Contact to craft this story of death and destruction on a global scale. And we have to give him that, the man manages to create this sense that something major is happening. You should also be aware that the running time is two and a half hours, so this movie is going to take up your entire evening.
We will be following a limo driver trying to save his family from earthquakes, volcanoes, and other natural disasters. I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot as this is one of those movies you simply need to dive into. You can count on stereotypical characters, emotional milking, and incredibly predictable storytelling. It’s a fun game to guess who’s going to die and in what order. And in that way, you can deconstruct the system of values of not just the writers but the general population. However, the main reason to see the movie 2012 is the visual splendor. And just to be clear, the movie made around $800 million on a $200 million budget, so it was a huge success.
I don’t remember seeing entire cities destroyed in this way. Huge tidal waves wiping everything in front of them and basically cleaning the Earth of all our shit. It feels kind of satisfying like nature finally decided to clean up this oddity called the human race. Just like it did with dinosaurs and about 97% of all creatures that are now extinct. When these scenes are over, we’re back to those unintentionally hilarious “character development” scenes. The cast is familiar and it did a serviceable job, especially when you consider the script.
It was cool to see my old crush Amanda Peet still crushing it along with charming Oliver Platt and Woody Harrelson. We also have John Billingsley (Star Trek, The Man From Earth) and Zlatko Buric whom you might remember from the Danish masterpiece Pusher. Finally, 2012 feels like a disaster movie for adults who want to entertain their inner child. That child was fascinated by the disaster movies of the past and wanted more. Well, using state-of-the-art CGI and impressive sets, that dream is finally a reality. A reality that feels like a dream.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover
Fun Stuff: North Korea banned the movie because 2012 marks the 100-year anniversary of the birth of their great leader Il-Sung Kim.