Thursday, November 12, 2009

2012 Is A Disaster Film That Is Truly A Disaster

Disaster movies have made audiences cringe in their seats for many years, The Towering Inferno was one of the best, Earthquake was probably the best. In between we have seen so many that are forgotten just as quickly as they played on the screen. In "2012" we get big special effect destruction scenes of California (would we really care), several National Parks, Hawaii and even Washington D.C. Along the way the CGI special effects wow you and disappoint you, nothing in this film is perfect but it isn't trying to be. The earthquake where California falls into the ocean is almost flawless, except for the buildings toppling over instead of crumbling to the ground, but who will be paying that much attention to detail, besides me?

The movie starts off in the year 2009 where we meet geologist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who has traveled to India to meet a friend who has discovered that the Earths core is heating up and that this will cause devastation under the crust until it explodes outward. Adrian returns to Washington D.C. to inform White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) and US President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) that this will instigate a chain of events that will bring about the end of the world. Move forward to 2012 and we meet Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a writer in Los Angeles who works part time as a limousine driver for Russian billionaire Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric). Jackson's ex-wife Kate (Amanda Peet) and their children Noah (Liam James) and Lily (Morgan Lily) live with her new boyfriend, plastic surgeon and amateur pilot Gordon (Thomas McCarthy). Jackson takes Noah and Lily on a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, where they find their usual camping spot fenced off. Instead of turning around they climb over and are soon captured by the military. They Meet Charlie (Woody Harrelson) who runs a ham radio, end of the world program, he claims he has a map to where the government is building huge arcs to take people off world.

Taking his family home, just as the earthquakes start, saving his family in the nick of time we see California slide into the Pacific Ocean. Jackson decides he has to get the maps that Charlie claims he has, they fly back to Yellowstone, just as the Yellowstone Caldera erupts, Jackson finds the maps but Charlie doesn't want to leave, the movie loses all believability from here on in. The Earth's Poles shift and the South Pole is now in Wisconsin but yet the planes guidance devices don't mess up and they are still able to land in China, even though they are running out of fuel. The ships turn out to be huge sailing vessels that the government has sold seats to the worlds richest people. like they are the best ones to repopulate the Earth. There is another unbelievable scene where the ship is taking water, once Jackson and his family manage to gain entry to it. The ship has a system where if it takes water on board, water tight doors close to ensure the rest of the ship won't take on the water, but yet Tamara (Beatrice Rosen) who is on board because she was sleeping with Yuri, drowns, and she was in a separate compartment, one that should not have taken any water once the compartment was sealed off from the others.

If you are going to see 2012 for the special effects you may like the movie but if it is story and believability you want don't bother, you will walk away shaking your head. I enjoyed the first half of this movie then it stopped taking itself seriously and then so did I. The performances almost seem phoned in, Danny Glover does an almost half backed performance as the President Thomas Wilson and we stop caring for anyone including Jackson and his family.

I give 2012 a 1 and on my avoidance scale a 2, wait a few months and catch this one on a late night cable channel, it may be worth the few hours you put into it, once the first destruction scenes happen, and they are about an hour into the movie, 2012 has nothing good to offer anyone. Woody Harrelson has given better performances in other movies this year, Zombieland and The Messenger are two much better movies of note for Woody.

2012 is rated PG-13 for Disturbing Disaster Sequences and Some Language
Running time is 2 hrs 38 mins.

No comments: