Review Catch-Up: “2012”

November 26, 2009 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Run!  It’s the end of the world!  Or so Roland Emmerich would have you believe.  First, he sent aliens to destroy us, then Godzilla came stomping around New York City, and next he froze the world with an ice age.  Now, he throws absolutely everything into a blender in hopes of creating the ultimate disaster movie.  What comes out is stupid, cheesy, and over-the-top.  But it’s also a pretty fun ride.

Plot is of no consequence here, but I’ll give a rundown anyway.  It’s the year 2012, the same year the Mayans supposedly predicted the end of the world.  It’s also the same year there’s a once-in-several-thousand-years alignment of the planets in our solar system, an event that has some negative effects on our sun’s solar flares.  The Earth heats up and the core melts, causing the plates on which our continents sit on to shift around.  Thus, all hell breaks loose as the world is restructured after some dramatic earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, etc.

The governments of the world aren’t exactly sitting around doing nothing.  The U.S. has sent Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to get to the bottom of this.  Meanwhile, the governments plan for a contingency: ride out the storm of all storms on gigantic ships designed to ensure the survival of mankind.  In the middle of it all is Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a failed writer-turned-limo-driver.  He helps his family outrun the end of the world, trying to find a safe place on a planet where there are no safe places.  Anywhere.  Oh yeah, Woody Harrelson is in it as a crazed conspiracy theorist, and Oliver Platt is great as Helmsley’s boss, who is a general asshole.

The real highlight of this movie are the visual effects.  With every movie that Emmerich does, he attempts to outdo himself.  Well, I find it hard for anyone to outdo all the CG carnage featured here.  Yes, there are giant waves hundreds of feet high.  Yes, there are earthquakes that swallow entire cities whole.  Yes, an aircraft carrier gets lifted and tossed onto the White House.  Did I also mention the destruction of Hawaii, a volcanic explosion akin to a nuclear bomb, or the entire state California sliding into the ocean?!  If nature can do it, it’s done here.

I don’t really have too much to say as to why I enjoyed this movie so much.  If this movie piques your interest even in the slightest way, check it out before it leaves theatres.  This is one of those that must be enjoyed on a giant screen with thousands of watts of sound blasting in your ears.  Sure, the plot is dumb, but the actors all seem to have a good time, and if you go in with your expectations in check, you’ll come out with a smile on your face.



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