Saturday, November 28, 2009


Unfortunately for me, the “End Is Near” did not happen for a painful 158 minutes. 2012 ties together ancient calendars and cosmic events with an end-of-the-world apocalyptic cataclysmic string of events that seem to be timed perfectly to coincide with the near death escape of the major characters. If that fails to be conveniently improbable enough for you, the major characters seem to be so intertwined that their paths crossing could not even be attributable to karma (which seems to be suggested near the end). The explosions and big special effects failed to win me over. This disaster movie was exactly that…a disaster.

2012 introduces us to a bevy of flat characters who are all agenda-driven. They seem to have a limited purpose in the film, which becomes evident quickly (talk about predictability). The flat characters are augmented with cheesy dialogue that I would be embarrassed to claim. Attempts at subtlety were exchanged for beat-you-over-the-head clichés that bombed. Lines like “it’s not the end of the world…” or similar “foreshadowing” language were so blatantly out-there that I felt like this film was written with a first-grade audience in mind. Or were they intentionally trying to insult the intelligence of movie-going patrons? The plot had an interesting direction that could have been explored further rather than relying on gimmicks and imagery to carry the film. Instead of thoughtful writing, we get big explosions, too many close calls and an eternity of celluloid before the film finally ends. And the ending really wasn’t that bad (other than the trite dialogue). An opportunity squandered by Director and writer Roland Emmerich and writer Harald Kloser.

The film opens with a couple of young scientists discovering changes in the Earth’s core caused by sun-flares. The American (Adrian Helmsley, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) works for the government as a geologist. During his visit with Indian scientist Dr. Tsurutani,(played by Jimi Mistry), Helmsley realizes the importance of the discovery and reports immediately back to Washington DC. The matters are brought to the attention of President Wilson (Danny Glover) who immediately initiates a program with other world leaders to preserve our species and as much world knowledge, art and animal species as possible. In the meantime, we meet Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a failed writer who stumbles on the unfolding events while taking his estranged kids back-packing at Yellowstone Park. Curtis bumps into Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson) during that trip, and given the rough outline of pending events.

Hold on tight…because things are gonna’ get confusing... Curtis is separated from his wife Kate (Amanda Peet) who is currently shacked up with Gordon (Thomas McCarthy) who also happens to be a private pilot. Gordon is also a plastic surgeon, who has done work on Tamara (Beatrice Rosen). Tamara is arm candy for a wealthy Russian named Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric). None of them not directly related to each other has ever met the others. And oh, did I mention that Curtis happens to drive a limousine for Yuri when he isn’t writing his loser books?

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