Film Review: 2012

“2012” (2009)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover & Woody Harrelson

Genre: Disaster/Apocalyptic Drama

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

The apocalyptic disaster film is nothing new to Hollywood and something that has become more of a case of trying to outdo its predecessors in terms of scale and budget without much thought about actually creating an original storyline. “2012” comes with all the bells & whistles of an obscene budget and ensemble cast of some of Hollywood’s famous stars but only manages to become a “disaster within a disaster”. Michael Bay’s “Armageddon” (1998) had his familiar style and humour to complement his big budget while most recently Alex Proyas’ “Knowing” (2009) added a more paranormal angle that added something different to an already saturated genre. “2012” has too many characters and too many sub-plots that the viewer really doesn’t care about. The over-cliched scenarios are so predictable, even the naïve viewer will feel like someone is taking the piss out of them. In short, “2012” is the work of a self-indulgent director more interested in outdoing his previous incarnation of “The Day After Tomorrow”, which despite not being the best movie in the genre either, is far superior to this effort. One final note on the special effects, I have not seen anything so cheap since perhaps the 80s and I can only imagine this means most of the $260mm budget went towards other areas of the film. I have never been a massive fan of Emmerich’s films who has been criticized over his career for among other things clichéd dialogue, flimsy and formulaic narrative, scientific and historical inaccuracies, illogical plot development, and lack of character depth. Well all of those are in plenty of abundance here: definitely a case of quantity and not quality. Last year I described his “10,000 BC” as a contender for worst film of 2008. Well, we now have a contender for 2009. If the world really is going to end in 2012, your price of admission might be better served being donated to charity or some other noble cause rather than helping to finance a no-doubt equally disastrous sequel.


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