Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review - 2012

The end of the world has been predicted by scientists, astronomers and many cultures around the globe, but when signs point to the cataclysmic event actually happening, there is little time to spare. A few lucky individuals have gained knowledge to the world's governments secret plan to save humanity. Once the destruction begins, they race across the globe, trying to escape from the fatal and transformative events.

By any means "2012" is not a film that meant to be taken seriously, instead it is pure escapism. It is a cataclysmic extravaganza of unbelievable and harrowing events that I had a blast watching. The special effects are overbearing at times, completely ludicrous and seem unpolished in moments, but I still walked away throughly entertained with all of the outrageous situations.

Director Ronald Emmerich is no stranger to disaster movies having directed Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000 B.C., but here in "2012" he delivers some of his most exciting and devastating sequences in his career. Like Emmerich's other efforts, the scale of "2012" is immense. Emmerich does a capable job of trying to capture the magnitude of worldwide destruction, while not spending the entire film displaying one ruinous sequence after another.

Ronald Emmerich is always good for one or two great characters in his disaster screenplays and here in "2012" he has done it again. I loved Woody Harrelson's character Charlie Frost. Harrelson is on one superior streak of fantastic performances as of late. While Harrelson only has a supporting character in "2012," every moment on screen is perfect.

John Cusack comes through in spades once again. Cusack's character is extremely typical, playing a divorced father who wants nothing more to make his relationship work with his wife and reconnect with his children. Having never seen a Cusack performance I didn't like, I am beyond bias. That said, Cusack delivers a wonderful performance that I connected with as a dad and a husband. I loved the dynamics of his character saving his ex-wife's new husband. Furthermore, I loved watching as Cusack escape certain death time and time again regardless of it's implausible fashion.

The rest of Ronald Emmerich's cast in "2012" do their job to the letter. Some of the performances are a bit stiff or drawn out and most certainly over-the-top, but what else would you expect from a disaster movie? The overall cast fills in their specific roles nicely, whether it is a heartfelt moment between a father and a son, the dose of laughter in the midst of disaster or a speech that tests everyones humanity. Despite any amount of cheesy dialogue and overdone performances, I enjoyed "2012" for what it was, an escape.

In the end, "2012" is two part great and one part redundant. The film has a lengthy running time of 158 minutes, however the action disaster moves at lightning speed until the final 30 minutes. The finale of "2012" is completely disappointing and ultimately nothing we haven't seen before in various forms. The movie tries to hammer home the lasting effect of humanity amongst tragedy, however the message goes for not, considering most of us just came for the evasion and carnage.


good review, right on point. i'm pretty much w/ you on this one. i do wonder though, do i like 2012 so much because his last few movies were so shitty? maybe. i do think 2012 is a solid film though, everything pays off, never gets too unrealistic (minus the ending, so i guess that's arguable), i pretty much liked every character, even oliver platt. RE set out to make "the mother of all disaster movies," and i think i can fairly say he's accomplished that to a degree.

Platt pulled off the Ass perfectly! Its was epic scale and although some stuff we've seen before it was still fun all the way through. I think the shitty string of flicks could definitely make me say this was not so bad. Skewed the scales so to speak.