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2012 (2009)

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I told you! Just because I'm a black president it doesn't mean the world is going to end!

How it took someone this long to make a movie about the popular Mayan prediction is beyond me. This could have easily been one of those 80’s movies that thought we'd all be flying in cars and escaping an exploding volcano at Yellowstone. That’s not to say that wouldn’t have been alright – sort of a Blade Runner meets Back to the Future meets Armageddon. Yes, I know Armageddon is from the 90’s but I couldn’t think of an 80’s disaster movie and nothing popped up fast enough up when I Googled “80’s disaster movies” -so, whatever.

But even in the 90’s , the decade of disasters, Hollywood was far too busy making 8 volcano movies in one year, or meteor movies, or tornado movies, or floods or whatever. That was the 90’s when all we wanted to see with the invention of CG was some really cool shit being blown up and giant towers getting knocked down. Maybe Hollywood was actually behind 9-11? (Too soon?..) But the point was filmmakers were like kids with Legos, where nothing was cooler than to build something and see it get wrecked. Hell, one movie even won an Oscar for sinking and wrecking a friggin’ boat! This of course was before this current decade where Hollywood embraced uber-hippie environmentalism and gave us disaster movies with a ‘Save the Whales’ bumper sticker plastered across the poster. (You know what I’m talking about Day After Tomorrow fans). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a giant tidal wave hitting New York just as much as the next guy, I’m just saying don’t make me feel guilty about throwing my empty beer can out the window on the drive home from the theatre.

The idea behind 2012 could have been made far sooner and in so many ways I’m glad it wasn’t -that it sort of flew under the radar all these years. First off, it’s nice to see a disaster movie once more that doesn’t blame us (humanity). There’s no talk of feeling guilty the world is destroyed, or feelings we should have been more careful and respected the Earth. Screw - that. This film ended up being so much more than that, so much more than I expected at all really.

It’s like it pays homage to all the great disaster films of all time. Things like earthquakes and the tidal waves and the volcanoes prove to be some of the best visuals, even if it looks like they borrowed scenes from The Langoliers or Titanic or Poseidon (I’m actually pretty sure they literally took a scene from Poseidon). Hell, it even has the cliché black president. I suppose it’s sort of tradition by now, like having John Ratzenberger in every Pixar film. It also makes me fear for the real 2012 apocalypse. Thanks Obama. Yes – we – can! … destroy the world.

However, even as sub-par as the acting may be sometimes; even as lucky as John Cusack’s family may be every time they narrowly escape yet another disaster, 2012 ends up being fairly realistic. It works in the sense that if the world was to actually end in three years, would the government really let us know? If not, is it so bizarre to think they wouldn’t sell seats to the highest bidder on whatever their version of Ark would be? None of that seems out of question – which actually gives this movie some ... validity if you will.

Is this all a reason to see 2012, though? It helps. But I didn’t go to 2012 for the politics, nor do I believe the American people would make Danny Glover president. Morgan Freeman – yes, Danny Glover … no. I went to see this movie for the killer special effects and CG. It’s what drove me to it - so yes, I’m shallow. But it’s only because I believe a movie like 2012 should be experienced right in the theatre. Something like this will be far less effective at a discount theatre or at home. It's movies like 2012 that we have big motha effin’ screens for. Once the world started ending, I was smiling for a good while - I'm a guilty pleasure whore. The door is open on this one, and you know what they say – “when one door opens, the pacific coast slides into the ocean”. Sweet.

*Still courtesy of Columbia Pictures


Editing Luke December 7, 2009 at 10:24 PM  

Politics! Religion! kjlekjlakd;jle;goodexposureslkjelkjeaes! haha.

This was an enjoyable review.

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