Thursday, November 19, 2009


Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton and Thomas McCarthy.

Rated PG-13.

Directed by Roland Emmerich.

Written by Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser

* * *

2012 is a blank canvas which German director Roland Emmerich has splattered with a thick, brilliant assortment of colors, exploding like fireworks in great disarray. He has thrown everything onto the canvas but the kitchen sink. For his viewers, he holds nothing back. Disasters of every kind burst onto the screen, from crushing tidal waves that swallow cities whole, to volcanic eruptions the size of mushroom clouds and earthquakes that split highways in two and bring sky scrapers crashing to the ground. There’s no real order or finesse to the art of the film, but it’s great fun to watch the plot of 2012 unfold.

The lives of a smattering of characters, including author Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), the president of the United States, Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover), top geologist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt), and the president’s daughter, Laura Wilson (Thandie Newton), are irrevocably changed when they learn the end of the world is within arm’s reach. All characters battle the elements, but only a few reach China, where their sole chance for survival exists in the form of massive arks, constructed to sustain the wrath of Mother Nature. But seats on the arks have been pre-sold to the highest bidders, leaving thousands upon thousands of people to perish around the earth.

The characters and acting skills aren’t very intriguing throughout the film, but fantastic special effects and dramatic events pop up around every corner. The actors aren’t the stars of the film; it’s the great tidal waves and earthquakes that bring that brilliant color to the canvas. The power of Mother Nature is terrifying because it can’t be stopped. As far-fetched as the basis of 2012 may seem, the truth of the matter is, the story is not impossible. That’s where Emmerich grabs the audience, taunts their fears and delights their senses with the sounds and images of unstoppable disaster.

The film is rather lengthy, and some of the characters can be a bit grating, but it’s a dazzling escape from reality for 158 minutes. 2012 is a (really long) roller coaster ride that leaves you dizzy, but ultimately riding high on the pulsating thrill of “What if?”


  1. I wonder what will really happen in 2012...haha. I want to see this movie but I will probably wait until it comes out on dvd. I am glad to see you are writing reviews again:)

  2. I thought the review was pretty accurate. It was a long dragged out action movie that had some incredible special effects. I thought many action movies are straying away from developing their characters and the great acting we use to see and rather using special effects instead to try drab the audience attention. I think this is a shame. This movie was a perfect example of a movie centered around special effects rather the actors such as John Cusack and Amanda Peet. I would have liked to see more of them in them in the movie rather than seeing another tidal wave or volcano erupt. I thought this movie needed some comical relief as well. All this depression about the world ending at least needs an actor to two to throw out a one liner or two to ease the tension. I thought this movie challenged our fears about 2012 and if the world really will end according the Mayan calendar. Will it be another Y2K hoax only time will tell.