(This post will be a much shorter review then usual)
“2012” is an epic disaster film dealing with the end of the world that the Mayans predicted. The film is written and directed by Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, 10,000 B.C., and other box-office successes). The movie stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Liam James, Morgan Lily, with Danny Glover as the President of the United States, and Woody Harrelson as a crazy radio-host living in Yellowstone National Park. (Running Time: 158 minutes)(Rating: PG-13)
“Hm,” was my first response to viewing this film for the first time. I’m not much into disaster films, mind you, but I heard some decent reviews on this movie and thought I’d check it out. It did not necessarily disappoint me, but neither impressed me greatly. Nevertheless, the movie had its good parts, I dare say.
The story folds around a large cast of characters, propelling us back and forth between story and family, and eventually, linking all these side stories into one, showing that its a small world after all. Pretty effective, and it got the story across as well, and you became even more attached to the characters and their will to live. Unfortunately–like any good disaster film, or suspense story–you had many losses. One of them near the end I didn’t see coming, I admit. The story was ultimately tasteful in the fact that it got around to showing the lives of each character pretty well and their attachment to their friends, work, and families.
The acting was so-so, with most of the cast. There were several moments I was pleased with the children of the protagonist, who were able to summon up lots of tears, short and hurried breaths, and looked genuinely concerned, scared, and frightened at times. But this movie’s strength does not rise to its full height because of its acting, I think.
Roland Emmerich–the director–is an artist of disaster films. Obviously, it shows in 2012, that he knows how to raise and unexpected dilemma, and sudden twist in the story, and make the stakes higher–as well as smack a joke in the least expected spot here and there. He directed this film pretty well, I believe; but nothing really sticks out that is noteworthy of an Academy Award. At least, not in this film, specifically.
2012’s origin began with Roland Emmerich (as he said), “…I wanted to make a biblical flood movie, but I never felt I had the hook. But then I read about the earth’s crust displacement theory in a book I read…” and it went from there. He had a solid friendship with co-screenwriter Harold Kloser, and they wrote the screenplay which they knew would be titled, “2012”. Nearly all of the Hollywood studios met in order to learn what new blockbuster they would have on their hands, and who would be the one to buy it and give it a budget. Sony Pictures Entertainment eventually bought the film rights and gave the film a much lower budget then Emmerich had originally intended. He admitted after the film was complete and released, the film’s budget had gone over $200 million.
The film met with mixed reviews, and eventually, because of the somewhat “religious content” in the flick, was banned from North Korea. I’m sure it’ll find its way back into the country, though; at least, someday…
But 2012 did very nicely at the box office, grossing over $770 million dollars from a weekend opening of $65. Not too bad for Roland Emmerich, whose films have grossed over that number a couple times already…
My rating? Oh, that’s difficult to estimate. I suppose in the end I would give this disaster epic a 3 out of 7 stars. I’m not being cruel to it. All my stars are for positive reasons, just about. (If it falls down to a low two or one, then that’s bad).
Even though I might not be into disaster films, maybe you are; maybe you are a big fan of Roland Emmerich’s films. If so, you ought to check this movie out! You have been warned that not everything is a pretty sight in this film, though!