Combine some uncertain details about Maya calendars, along with vague prophecies about the end of the world, insert a team of Indian scientists studying some solar flares, and then wheel it out a few years ahead of its impending doom date, and you've got the basic premise of "2012" a disastrous end of the world movie, just in time for the holidays.
And while the world currently struggles to get through tough social and economic times, more and more people have gone off the deep end and seem all too ready for the world to end. I suppose that's what movies like "2012" are for, a release valve of sorts that let people indulge that inner fantasy that gets them off the hook by having the world end instead of having to face the realities of where we are at as a people as we struggle to survive.
Roland Emererich, director of films like "Independence Day" is no stranger to serving up big screen spectacles for the masses, however with "2012" Emererich outdoes himself and establishes a completely new genre of film, apocalypse porn. And never before has the end of the world looked so good. Seemingly every possible disaster cliche in the book was used in the making of "2012". Earthquakes, check, Fireballs in the sky, check, avalanches, check, tidal waves, check, and the list goes on and on. The filmmakers get carried away and are so whipped up in their self-indulgent, destroy everything on the planet in the worst way possible, I have to wonder about what was going on in the story discussion rooms that came up with the sequence that hurtles the John F. Kennedy air craft carrier into the White House via tsunami, or has the dome of the Vatican come crushing down upon the hapless followers below. Lap it up you end of the world fiends, lap it up.
At least Woody Harrelson has the sense to play the part of the hippie dippy conspiracy radio host character who not only turns out to have been right all along but embraces his fate and stands ready for the first money shot of this apocalypse before he cashes his check, and gets himself off screen before the first third of the film is done.
"2012" is based on the book "Fingerprints of the Gods", and sets up the hero as a struggling science fiction author that saves humanity (imagine that!). John Cusack is cast in this part and the only thing more cynical than having the actor who once played roles like Lloyd Dobler become this schlump, is watching how quickly his estranged ex-wife character gets over her plastic surgeon boyfriend to reattach herself to Cusack when she see's which way the wind is blowing. Yes even in the apocalypse the survival instincts for some people don't change.
So if the shopping frenzy of holiday season puts you into a foul mood, where you hope those Mayan calendars are right, then go ahead and beat yourself up with "2012" for a while. But be sure and pack a lunch because this apocalypse porno is almost three hours long and you'll feel every minute of it. Glad that it's still only 2009, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2009 - Purple - Air Date: 11/25/09
Movie Magazine International
Movie Magazine International