film review: 2012 (2009)

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I haven’t actually seen many Roland Emmerich movies… well ok, looking through his IMDb I’ve seen Stargate, Independence Day and 10,000BC but I didn’t know he did Stargate so… anyway… The point is I haven’t seen The Day After Tomorrow. Though, I’ve seen bits of here and there and it looks an awful lot like 2012. I guess he has a type, he goes for a epic story… and he has a slight fondness for the epic disaster. That’s cool, I like a good epic film as much as the next person. I haven’t actually seen that many disaster movies though and they’re not know for being great films though so I didn’t want to expect to much out of this one.

Then again, I loved Armageddon; and Independence Day; and Deep Impact… So maybe I never really had anything to worry about with 2012. It’s a big, silly, cheesy, funny epic disaster movie. I laughed a lot, I might even have shed a little tear or two; what more do you want! It is as cheesy as quattro formaggi pizza, but like Armageddon, you just have to go with it, this isn’t high art here…

The best thing about it really are the action sequences, when things start exploding and flying through the air you kind of forget that they had just spent half an hour or so trying to tell you when and why this was going to happen. It doesn’t matter anyway. Though, for what it’s worth, the plot exposition at the start wasn’t particularly painful. It was kind of interesting. Looking back though, I couldn’t really tell you what excuse they gave for this particular armageddon… it had something to do with solar flares, mutant neutrinos and bubbling magma (I don’t think they actually used the word magma though. That might involve having a character explaining what magma is). Anyway whatever, like I said, it doesn’t matter at all. All that matters is that it leads to some amazing, fantastic special effects sequences. I saw this in one of the biggest cinema screens in Ireland and I wished it was bigger, and louder. I guess I should have just sat closer…

In case you don’t know, 2012 actually has a great cast as well. John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover, all great actors who perform ably in this. Woody Harrelson in particular is excellent. In fact I do think that with a lesser cast this could have been awful. As it is, it gets away with it. I’m sure it wasn’t a particularly taxing role for any of them but a script like that requires some skill to not make it not sound horrific…

Let me make this clear though. This is not a good film. Don’t blame me if you go see it and you think it’s the stupidest film you’ve ever seen. I never said it wasn’t stupid. The stuff that happens in it is actually outrageous. Really ridiculous. But it’s also an enjoyable, hilarious film and honestly, I’ve never seen the likes of those effects before. Well, not on that kind of scale. I mean really, they’re amazing. Amazing and funny. I do recommend that if you don’t mind your movies served with cheese you should go see this. See it now.


Oh actually, I do have one criticism. At 158 mins it is a bit long. I was fine because I knew it was going to be long but I know some won’t be up for that. They could have shaved 15-20 mins off it easy. We don’t really need the monk stuff, and the boat stuff is a bit unnecessary. Ok, it was a bit emotional and I like that but there was already plenty of space for that kind of thing with the rest of the characters. So that’s the reason it’s not getting 8, 9 or 10.

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