Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review: 2012

Grade: B+

2012 is the latest effort by director Roland Emerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). It is a big budget end of the world movie. In the movie in 2009 a scientist discovers that the Earth's core and sub-crust are heating up and in a couple of years a major natural disaster will occur that will that will destroy most of the world. The government starts making preparations for this event and decides to keep the event a secret from the general public. In 2012, in accordance with the Mayan calendar, the world literally starts to come apart. The movie mostly follows a writer who is trying to save his family and get to some giant arcs in China that he found out about from a crazy conspiracy theorist, who happens to be right this one time.

If that sounded sarcastic I'm sorry, as much as I did enjoy this movie it is a little ridiculous at times. This movie was very visually stunning. The massive amounts of special effects were great. This is by far the most destructive end of the world movie ever. In 2012 you watch Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Vatican crumble and collapse under the force of massive earthquakes that create huge new canyons and most of LA sinks into the ocean, you watch Yellowstone explode with the force of a nuclear blast and turn into the largest volcano ever, you see Washington, India and several other locations get slammed by tidal waves that rise thousands of meters in the air, Hawaii is completely destroyed by it's volcanoes. This is all just simply fun to watch if you like apocalyptic movies, which I do.

Emerich's pacing gets better with this movie. Despite the movie's 160 minute runtime, it goes by pretty quickly. Unlike some of his past movies, Godzilla and Independence Day were the biggest offenders, where there is a little bit of action at the beginning then nothing but mushy plot for two hours then a bit of action at the end, this movie had the action nicely spaced out in between the mushy plot. Even though I don't think he'll ever make a movie as good as Stargate again, this movie shows improvement in his story telling and that his movies are getting better again after the horrendous 10,000 B.C.

The cast of the movie was great. John Cusack (High Fidelity, War Inc.) plays Jackson Curtis, a writer whom the movie mostly centers around. Cusack is great and I'll watch anything he does. Amanda Peet (Whole Nine Yards, Martian Child) plays Kate Curtis, Jackson's ex-wife. Peet did a good job even though I still feel like she didn't do much in it. Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, Children of Men) plays Adrian Helmsley, a scientist who helped discover the phenomenon that was about to occur. Ejiofor was great in this role, very passionate, and he did a great job showing how his character felt they should save as many people as possible. Oliver Platt (Year One, Frost/Nixon) plays Carl Anheuser, an aid to the president who helps come up with the plan to build the arcs. Platt did a great job showing his characters greed. Danny Glover (Be Kind Rewind, Lethal Weapon) plays president Thomas Wilson. Glover did a really good job with this role. The movie also features Thandi Newton as the president's daughter and Woody Harrelson as a crazy conspiracy theorist.

This movie was just plain fun to watch and if you are a fan of Emerich's or a fan of disaster movies, this is an absolute must see. As I mentioned before, so very much destruction, it can be so much fun to watch. Best part of this movie, in the end it is a utopia because the twilight movies were destroyed, haha, sorry had to say it.

Great quote: "When they tell you not to panic, that's when you run."

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