I saw 2012 with my friend Felicia today.
Does the name Irwin Allen ring a bell? The Poseidon Adventure? Earthquake? The Towering Inferno? (which, believe it or not, managed an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture in 1974)
Roland Emmerich, with Independence Day, Godzilla, Day After Tomorrow, and now 2012, is our modern day Irwin Allen. Big screen Disaster movies, large casts, people die, big things happen.
Roland blows up the Earth real good. The science on why the Earth is going to pieces is absolute bunk and the film doesn’t spend much beyond the opening scenes on *why* the Earth is going to hell in a handbasket. This is good, since we get to focus on the characters and the fates that befall them.
Although John Cusack (who plays a failed SF writer!) seems to get top billing and is in a plurality of scenes in the movie, the real heart and soul of the movie is Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose Dr. Adrian Helmsley is not only the science heart of the film, but its spiritual heartand conscience as well. Strangely (and to good effect), he plays off very well against the cold and callous Oliver Platt (in a brilliant bit of anti casting).
Washington D.C, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are the three cities we see wiped out, in classic Irwin Allen cum Roland Emmerich fashion. Unlike the frentic jump cutting of a lot of directors these days, Emmerich lets us fully appreciate on widescreen the magnitude of the disasters befalling the Earth.
Its not high art. It’s not a good movie. The science and engineering is abysmal, but that’s on par for Emmerich. (Remember in Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich had his characters try and outrun “cold”!)
But is it damned fun to watch? If you enjoy disaster movies, you bet. Go and see it.
Heck, I even give Emmerich points (sad to say even in this day and age that I have to, but I give him props for doing it because too many directors don’t give a damn) for having the primary romantic thread in the movie be the one between two African-Americans. (In addition, showing additional international sensibility, its NOT an American who first discovers what is going to happen.)
Felicia and I, who like this sort of movie, were more than reasonably entertained.