Monday, November 15, 2009
Movie Reviews: 2012
Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.
Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt
Director: Roland Emmerich
Opened November 13, 2009..
Runtime: 2 hr. 38 min.
Rated PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language
Genres: Sci-Fi Disaster Film, Science Fiction
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen was Michael Bay at his most excessive and bombastic; the film was an orgy of everything ever associated with the much maligned director. Equally, Roland Emmerich’s 2012 is a new high point for this apocalyptic auteur. By high point I mean its Emmerich unleashed and unchecked, destruction occurs on such a grand scale that it’s almost comical. It feels like watching an old Tex Avery cartoon, so much so that if a massive anvil were to fall on a major city of monument you’d hardly notice or care. Visually, it’s a technical marvel. A virtual highlight reel of what the best CGI in the business can do with nearly unlimited funds and imagination. The film’s massive set pieces are great fun and deliver the trill ride promised. Then there the story, much like his previous film, Emmerich populates this with a bevy of clichéd characters that always act and react the way you’d expect. John Cusack is pretty much just asked to scream a lot of painfully atrocious dialogue. Cusack is a fine actor but here there very little he can do to elevate a script that sounds like it was written on a Mad Libs book. Equally mired is Chiwetel Ejiofor who has the task of playing the world’s worse scientist. Everything he does and says are wrong but people continue to listen to him because he’s got a conscience unlike Oliver Platt’s stereotypical government chief. Amanda Peet isn’t given anything to do other than stand run and look worried from time to time. Thandie Newton, Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson are collecting a paycheck here and don’t really add much to the proceedings. Harrelson even phones in a character which should have been a lot of fun. It’s all par for the course and should be expected since it’s Emmerich we’re talking about. While some of this films failings are expected one major one wasn’t, the films massive run time that’ll have you wishing the world would just end already! I’ve always thought of directors like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich like candy bars, they give you a nice little rush but too much could make you sick. Excepting any depth or substance is foolish because like the candy bars they have no problem telling you what they are ahead of time.