Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Thursday, 19 November 2009 21:34

new2012poster2-thumb-550x818-23580A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to travel to Mexico and visit the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. While touring the spectacular site our guide shed some light on various Mayan beliefs including their amazingly accurate calendar system which was plotted out in great detail by astronomers of the time. The trouble is the Mayan calendar is charted out only to the year 2012, leading some theorists to believe they had knowledge to predict the end of the world. Interesting theory, but I’d be willing to bet they just got tired of making up calendars for thousands of years in the future. Seems a little pointless after all! The Mayan end-of-world theory is what provides the basis for 2012, Roland Emmerich’s (The Day After Tomorrow) latest big budget disaster flick.

This movie has all the splash and eye-candy we’ve come to expect and it relies heavily on star power too. The ever-boyish John Cusack plays an unlikely hero named Jackson, a writer who looks soft but of course turns out to be pretty much indestructible. After all, who cares that the entire population of earth is being gobbled up by earthquakes and tsunami’s, as long as our hero and his adorable family survive all is well. Star power infuses the film, such as Woody Harrelson as a crazy hippy radio broadcaster whose conspiracy theories turn out to be right. All the cliché characters are present and accounted for; a noble U.S. President (Danny Glover), a scheming advisor (Oliver Platt), a fat Italian mafioso, and a boob-enhanced bimbo with a heart of gold. Think of virtually any stereotype and it is in this movie.

woody-harrelson-and-john-cusack-in-2012-movieThe special effects are often spectacular; the earth’s crust tears open, ocean waves rise to incredible proportions, great chunks of lava are thrown about! Of course our heroes witness it all while careening around in limos, airplanes and even a giant arc. Believable? – no. A great amusement park ride? – I can imagine nothing finer than a virtual reality roller coaster through this movie. The down side is that 1/3 of the film is spent just setting the scene with a bunch of very boring dialogue. It’s not even well written dialogue; just hacked together to form some sort of introduction. Irony abounds, like when one character tells his wife that he feels distance between them and suddenly the earth literally splits apart between them. How about we just skip ahead to the mass chaos and destruction? After all, it’s what everyone is there to see. At nearly 3 hours long, this movie almost makes Transformers seem like concise, masterful storytelling.

2012-movie-02The whole movie careens us to the conclusion in which nothing can be done to save the planet, but a privileged few have bought tickets aboard giant arcs to save their own asses. Of course we are a capitalist society, so the general public was not even made aware of their impending doom, or given a chance at survival. I’m sure there’s a message here. Something like “The rich survive because they are rich. As for all the regular folk, I guess it doesn’t hurt to be John Cusack.”

Last but not least, as the movie vaults it’s final hurdle and the clock ticks downward, the last lines of dialogue can be quoted in an effort to sum up the entire film. “No more Pull-Ups!” says Cusack’s daughter in a conspiratorial whisper. “No more Pull-Ups indeed”, I think, rushing out to the lobby washrooms. All that CG flooding sure can make it tough to sit through 2012.