Posted by: Dr P | December 5, 2009


2012. A budget stretching into the hundreds of millions. A colossal cast chosen from among the world’s elite. Set against epic landscapes amid sweeping change to the planet and momentous events. For sure, this movie about the London Olympics could do no wrong. What’s that, I hear you cry? This is a disaster movie? Well, of course it is! After Jade Johnson’s calamitous injury on Strictly Come Dancing, there goes another medal for Britain!

OK, so 2012 is actually going to host TWO monumental, world-shaping events. The Mayan civilisation foretold a calamitous cataclysm (try saying that after 6 malibus) which would change the world forever – indeed their calendar “runs out” on December 21 that year. My Mum really won’t be pleased, as apparently the Earth’s going belly up on her 70th birthday …

Roland Emmerich is the master of destruction on a vast scale. The Day After Tomorrow was a classic disaster movie about freakish weather and climate change causing worldwide horror – a new ice age, tornadoes in LA etc. Clearly Mr E doesn’t like LA as the whole place – and indeed all of continental North America – gets totalled in this film. If you thought TDAT took global catastrophe to a whole new level, think again – 2012 is THE disaster movie to end all of them!

The earthquakes are disastrous, the acting is disastrous!

The holes in the fault lines are gargantuan, the holes in the plot lines are gargantuan!

The earthquakes make the world shudder, the corny dialogue will certainly make you shudder!

If you’re hoping for any kind of well-constructed plot, think again. If you want to see “stuff getting destroyed” you’re in for a treat. Get in some popcorn and a coke, cos you’re in for a hell of a ride. Better make it a large coke, as this runs to a whopping 158 minutes. Plenty of time for global mayhem and destruction then!!

The intriguing thing about this movie, despite the hokey dialogue and slightly conspiracy-fuelled plot devices, is that much of this could – and probably will – happen. The Yellowstone supervolcano is genuinely due an eruption – and if it happens on the scale of the eruptions of 2.1 million, 1.2 million and 640,000 years ago, we’re in trouble. Notice the timescales there? Yes, we’re overdue. Eek. Having said that, if and when it does start to explode, it’s unlikely there’ll be a hippy pirate DJ standing on the rim singing – step forward Woody Harrelson! Just weeks after hsi cinematic outing in the inspired Zombieland, Woody plays another freaky character with a deathwish – though I laughed AT this one rather than WITH him!

The main body of the film is carried by John Cusack and the wonderful special effects. Cusack struggles manfully against horrendous dialogue, and does manage to convey some genuine sense of fear at the rising waters/horrendous volcanic eruptions/the realisation that Planet Hollywood is no more. He does his best, but is not helped by some of the other cast members who walk through their lines. Poor Danny Glover is very badly cast as the US president in charge at the time of the disaster, and the lovely, and talented, Thandie Newton is not best used as his daughter.

Still, if you can ignore the nonsense acting and the silly scenes aboard the “arks”, this is a corker of a film in the best traditions of epic disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure, two films I adore. It’s always nice to see America getting wiped out as well (no offence to my vast US readership, it’s not like the rest of the world fares much better).

Check your brain at the door, get the food and drink in and enjoy! Oh and do try and remember this could all actually happen ….. 🙂


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