Friday, 13 November 2009

2012: Movie Review

2012: Movie Review

Rating: 5/10
Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Well, we're pretty much screwed.
That's if you believe the Mayans and the latest release 2012.
According to the ancient prophecies, when the planets perfectly align on 21st December 2012, the world will end.
In 2009, (crikey that's now) scientist Adrian Helmsley (a pious Chiwetel Ejiofor) discovers the earth's crust is heating up thanks to recent solar flare activity and the end of the world is nearing.
So when he goes to the President of the US of A (Danny Glover) to relay the information, plans begin for the end of the world. However, what the plans don't necessarily allow for is the full scale survival of the human race.
Throw into this mix, John Cusack's Jackson Curtis, estranged from his wife Kate (Amanda Peet) and 2 kids (yes the uber-moppets, along with a step-father are here and ready for the apocalypse) who's always suspected the final days are on their way.
On a camping trip with his kids in Yellowstone, Jackson finds crazy old Charlie Frost (a wild performance from Woody Harrelson) knows about the conspiracy behind the end of days - and more importantly, how to get through it.
So, when the earthquakes increase in intensity, the nuclear family does what it has to to survive as Jackson does his best to save the day.
But when nature's worst is unleashed, the human race may not make it....
What can you say about 2012, the latest disaster film from the man who blew up the White House when the aliens attacked in Independence Day?
Check your brains at the door and you'll pretty much enjoy it - there are all the pre-requisites of any disaster films; terribly cliched one liners, check; major landmarks being destroyed, check; family under peril - from both nature and the new love, check; evil Government conspiracies and nasty Russians who get last minute redemption, check; massive explosions, check; lots of improbable escapes; check; bloated running time, check- they're all here for you to enjoy over some 150 minutes.
And yet, during some moments in 2012, there are some deeper moments which elevate it from the usual disaster, USA promoting pap. There's an apparent dark conspiracy (though the Princess Diana reference is appallingly misjudged) which runs through and there are moral questions about whether those in power have the right to make all the decisions to prolong the species rather than save all; unfortunately though, those are slightly over-milked by the repetitive sanctimonious speeches made by Eijofor's character. There are moments which will irritate some - the saccharine goodbyes that some family members get to make on phones, the depiction of the Queen with her corgis....
John Cusack emerges with his credibility in tact at the end of this - it's all fairly predictable stuff; but once again with his continuing charisma and old school cool, he makes it through - even though everything's falling apart around him.
If you fancy seeing a film with the world going to hell in a handcart, then 2012 is the perfect getaway - the effects are par for the course and not too bad in places.

However, I do have one plea - I know it's a symbol for Americans, but can Roland Emmerich please just deal with his issues over the White House and stop blowing it up now?

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