Monday, March 15, 2010

Under 250: 2012

If you watch 2012 expecting anything other than destruction, destruction, and more destruction, than you're either a very naive human being or a staunch optimist without much of a frame of reference for the Hollywood disaster picture.  Director Roland Emmerich is no stranger to apocalyptic chaos.  He's pulled out all the explosive stops for everything from Independence Day to The Day After Tomorrow to the 1998 remake of Godzilla. In his latest end of the world blockbuster, however, he constructs an inescapable event.  There are no aliens to fight off, no climate change that could have been prevented. No, instead there's just planetary alignment and the slow overheating of the Earth's core.  All the necessary pieces are there: a sympathetic president (Danny Glover), a slip of a love story, the divorced and slighted father (John Cusack) trying to regroup his fractured family as Los Angeles cracks open and Yellowstone becomes the "world's largest active volcano".  Here's what you need to know about 2012, even though you already know it: it's a series of unlikely escapes and perfect, some might say coincidental, timing.  Family arrives, things go to hell, family escapes just in time.  Family arrives, things go to hell, they narrowly make it.  Family arrives, things get real, etc. It's frustrating, implausible, absurd, repetitive and overblown in its measures. As a  clever human being, you know whether or not you want to see 2012, and you're not going to let me tell you otherwise.  It is a spectacle, to be sure, but with the light show comes a fair bit of green screen.  Don't be surprised if you find yourself checking the time.

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