When you watch a movie like 2012, the last thing on the studio’s mind is movie reviews. They just don’t matter. So what can I say about 2012 other than the fact that it was absurdly entertaining to watch a movie made inside a computer by a director who has the emotional development of an 11 year old boy. I was agog and agape (mostly with laughter) as director-child Roland Emmerich strings together almost three hours of footage featuring John Cusack outrunning the earth. (whew)
Now that’s not to say the movie wasn’t entertaining in an Ed Wood with a $200 million dollar budget kind of way. All the clichés were there and put right in your face, daring you to look away. What trips you up a bit is all of the clichés were played by good, talented actors. OK, Cusack is estranged from his family and the kids like the perfect stepdad better. Now… how long is it going to take for perfect stepdad to die before John can get back with hot Amanda Peet? Almost the whole movie, apparently. Come on, Emmerich, if you’re going to cliché me, make it quicker. Oh, and if you thought that was a spoiler, you’ve clearly never watched a movie before.
Emmerich actually tries to put humanity and heart into the movie and with some fine actors, he… well, no he doesn’t even come close. But you can tell the effort was at least made.
But you gotta give Emmerich his spectacle props. No one blows up the world the way he does. The funniest part and most entertaining aspect of the film was the fact that he made the end of the world a character, and made it chase John Cusack. Absolutely hilariously brilliant cartoonish absurdity. Our hero outruns, outdrives, and outflies disaster after disaster. Over and over again. He’s always one step ahead of the ground caving in, or a few feet ahead of an erupting volcano, or blah blah blah. You can almost see the planet wave a big earthen fist in the air going “Curse you, Cusack! I’ll get you next time!”
Please ignore all of the obvious plot holes and they are huge and laughable ones at that. But they are hardly the point. But it’s fun to recap a few of my favorites: The Russian piloting the plane leaves Las Vegas as it’s disintegrating and ignores the control tower’s pleas to not take off. First, why would they care, and then after he takes off, he puts his headphones back on after taking them off for a minute. Who does he expect to talk to? The world just ended. Everyone who knew about the conspiracy was killed, except the crazy conspiracy nut BROADCASTING the truth from the woods, surrounded by the army, who actually had a MAP to the secret location of the blah blah blah again.
How many of these movies do we really need? We have Emmerich, Michael Bay, and Jerry Bruckheimer in a race to the computer generated bottom. It’s enough, really. Let’s tone it back a bit. After Transformers, I could have done with a 12 month break from big loud cinematic brain freeze. During 2012 I really wanted to have a joystick built into the seat because most of the time I felt like I was in a video game And for the love of money, why would you not release this movie in 3-D?! That’s what 3-D was MADE for. Big, dumb, loud, explosiony nonsense. Come on, marketing department. Wake up!
So would I recommend this movie? Yes, for its cultural significance, which is none. The fact that it has absolutely zero cultural significance, no message, no new anything except more CGI rendering, it somehow makes it worth a look. As long as you go and tell your brain to please take the next two and a half plus hours off. You won’t be needing it.