2012 (2009)

2012 poster 2009 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent looking effects at points

Goofy story that forces viewers to suspend belief beyond reason

Movie Info

Movie Name: 2012

Studio:  Columbia Pictures/Centropolis Entertainment/Farewell Productions

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 11, 2009 (France)/November 13, 2009 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

2012 limo jumping

Wow…we’re amazing luck that this limo held together…it is a once in a lifetime win…or about 8 times throughout this movie

Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and a team of scientist uncover a horrible truth in 2009…something is happening to the Earth.  Now in 2012, the Earth is at its breaking point and natural phenomena are starting to take over as predicted by the Aztecs.  The advanced warning has given the governments of the world to prepare with a massive ark project…but now with time running out, those without knowledge of the danger coming are about to discover the truth.  Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is trying to get his life together after a failed novel and finds himself caught in the middle of the rush to get to safety with his estranged wife Kate (Amanda Peet), her boyfriend Gordon (Tom McCarthy), and their children Noah (Liam James) and Lilly (Morgan Lily).  The clock is running down and the end is near!

Directed by Roland Emmerich (who also co-wrote the film), 2012 is a big-budget disaster movie.  The film takes its story from Mayan predictions that the world would end on December 21, 2012.  The film received negative reviews but was a box office success.

I had no interest in seeing 2012 when it was released nor when it came to DVD and Blu-Ray.  I happened upon a copy (tied to the equally panned 1998 Godzilla) and decided to give it a shot.  While it does put the “corn” in popcorn movie, the film has a few moments tied to this genre of film…but largely the movie is laughable.

2012 airplane earthquake los angeles

The limo worked…let’s keep pushing our luck guys!!!

The story is one of those stories where you don’t see any hope from the onset and therefore you know it is going to just get worse.  The numbers of people killed in the movie probably rival death counts of some of the biggest films (at least when you consider “human” life) as the Earth is torn apart.  It is the type of movie that forces the viewers to suspend reality beyond belief.  The characters just always happen to end up where they need to get often in the long run cause the problems that they are trying to avoid.  The movie is overwhelmed with deaths of “major” characters of the ensemble cast, but even with the vested characters, the deaths don’t hold much weight.

Like most disaster films, the cast is big (and like many disaster films, they’ve been in much better).  Essentially there are two camps:  the John Cusack family camp and the Chiwetel Ejiofor government camp.  Cusack’s camp goes for the heart with the family angle but it also ropes in characters like Woody Harrelson who are killed far too quickly.  Ejiofor’s camp is the much more interesting camp and probably should have been the focus of the movie.  It feels like the government take on the disaster is more interesting and the Thandiwe Newton-Chiwetel Ejiofor forced relationship has more legs than Cusack-Peet.  You also get the classic jerk character in Oliver Platt.

2012 chiwetel ejiofor thandiwe newton oliver platt

Is it my turn to give the Independence Day inspirational speech?

The visual effects are decent, but they also highlight the absurdity of the situation.  The world is literally falling apart but people can escape the danger in an limo, camper, tiny prop plane, or massive jumbo jet.  They outrun water and manage to pull off the impossible over and over again.  I do commend the film for showing the bodies of people dying in the wreckage of the world, but it feels a little ugly after seeing real death in events like 9-11.

2012 is a movie I would recommend if it were about an hour shorter simply because it takes absolutely no thinking.  The movie’s bloated runtime slogs on forever and it feels like it just gets more and more absurd as it does.  In the world of big disasters 2012 might be the top…but it isn’t just the events of the movie that make it that.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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