“2012” delivers everything you could possibly want from a blockbuster disaster movie, though you have to wonder how Roland Emmerich is going to top the end of the world.
It’s not so much that the Earth is destroyed, but that it’s done so thoroughly. “2012,” the mother of all disaster movies (and the father, and the extended family) spends half an hour on ominous set-up scenes (scientists warn, strange events occur, prophets rant and of course a family is introduced) and then unleashes two hours of cataclysmic special events hammering the Earth relentlessly.
This is fun. “2012” delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year. It even has real actors in it. Like all the best disaster movies, it’s funniest at its most hysterical. You think you’ve seen end-of-the-world movies? This one ends the world, stomps on it, grinds it up and spits it out…read more [Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times]
Roland Emmerich’s apparently limitless appetite for gigantic effects-driven B-movies continues unabated with the disaster epic to end all disaster epics, a deliriously ludicrous, guilty pleasure of a blockbuster in which the end of the world is turned into a two-and-a-half-hour rollercoaster ride. Echoing virtually every disaster movie ever made from Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure to Deep Impact, Volcano, The Core and Emmerich’s own The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 is shamelessly derivative but no less diverting for it…read more [ScreenDaily]
You are here probably by accident. But possibly you are here because you actually do want to read 600-some-odd words about “2012.” In which case, bless your heart.
Not to be confused with “2010,” the sequel to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” nor with “2112,” the dippy and vaguely Ayn Rand-influenced but nonetheless ass-kicking hard rock album (and seven-part suite of the same name thereon) by Canadian power trio Rush, “2012″ is a new disaster epic from disaster-epic enthusiast Roland Emmerich, and presumably the disaster epic to end all disaster epics, at least until the next one arrives…read more [TheFasterTimes]
2012 breaks down into your basic disaster-movie stock plot: A small family torn asunder by divorce and led by unsuccessful sci-fi writer Jackson Curtis (John Cusack as yet another prodigal patriarch) is reunited as the world crumbles on December 21, 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar. Jackson only manages to save his family after listening to the “crazy but also surprisingly with-it” man on the street (Woody Harrelson), who here resembles an Alex Jones-type broadcasting his crank messages about fallen “truth-tellers,” God, and government cover-ups from his trailer in the woods. Meanwhile, in Washington, good-hearted and outspoken scientist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is discovering the nasty truth about that conspiracy, one that involves a plan to restart the world with several “arks” full of the rich and the worthy. It’s up to Helmsley and Curtis to set a good example for the shrieking unwashed masses and, in turn, do everything in their power to prevent the audience from having any fun watching the world die screaming…read more [Slant]
We’re doing what we can to improve the environment; we’re trying to be more humane and inclusive, we put a black president into office and we run for the cure. Things have changed since Emmerich first hit us over the head and there is no reason to turn back.
A successful disaster movie should be a fun ride- this is anything but. It takes itself too seriously to amuse. There’s no comic relief and few authentic human moments – even though that excellent British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor tries mightily…read more [Monsters and Critics]
What’s missing here is someone to root against – the monster in Emmerich’s “Godzilla,” the Global Warming denying White House of “Day After Tomorrow,” the aliens of “Independence Day.” Are we meant to applaud when skyscrapers topple and ships capsize, with tiny digital faceless bodies plummeting into the void? You make the disaster this real and it’s not entertaining or chilling. Like “Deep Impact,” another movie with a black president presiding over the end of time, it’s more depressing than entertaining…read more [Zap2It]
The German-born Emmerich takes the disaster-movie genre to its logical conclusion in 2012, obliterating or reconfiguring vast swaths of the planet’s surface (solar storms boil the Earth’s core; tectonic havoc ensues) and providing a 158-minute thrill ride that zips by like the real thing. Over the duration, there are homages (or lifts) to apocalyptic exercises of decades past (particularly producer George Pal’s terrific 1951 When Worlds Collide, which – ha! – is currently being remade by Stephen Sommers) and plenty of cheeky references to Emmerich’s own résumé. Cusack plays beleaguered writer Jackson Curtis. Separated from his wife (Peet) and kids (James, Lily), he stumbles across Harrelson’s conspiracy theorist/wild-eyed prophet Charlie Frost while on a dad-weekend visit to Yellowstone National Park…read more [TheAustinChronicle]
I hate to say it, but Emmerich is pretty much right. Far from conveying the horrors that might befall us should anything remotely so destructive happen, 2012 feels more like a soothing bath of Hollywood tropes and cliches, allowing us to witness Los Angeles slide into the ocean like Atlantis, but then warming us with a Woody Harrelson wisecrack and a rousing speech from Chiwetel Ejiofor. It’s numbing, sure, especially when the first half is nothing but CGI explosion after another, but on some level it’s exactly what we expect out of Hollywood– shallow spectacle and a bevy of stars, an adventure and a few moral lessons, a giant budget spent guaranteeing we won’t feel a bit different than we did when walking into the theater…read more [CinemaBlend]
Reelzchannel talk to the director and stars of 2012, including John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Roland Emmerich, at the movie’s premiere: