2012- DIRECTED BY ROLAND EMMERICH. 2009. STARRING DANNY GLOVER, JOHN CUSACK, AMANDA PEET, OLIVER PLATT, THANDIE NEWTON, WOODY HARRELSON, JIMI MISTRY AND CHIWETEL EJIOFOR. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Every now and then, I like to clear a couple of hours in my diary and settle down with a good old blockbusting disaster movie. It’d usually be a weekend thing, and there’d have to be enough snacks in the house to see me through to the end of the film. I wouldn’t want to starve, haha.
THE TOWERING INFERNO, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, ALIVE, TITANIC, INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and now 2012, I’ve seen ’em all. I have a soft spot for them, as it happens. I’ll be straight with you from the start. I don’t think that 2012 is as good as some of its forerunners, but it’s here and I’ve literally just watched it so let’s review it. Okay, guys…? Let’s roll.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which I actually prefer, makes it clear to the viewer that that pesky boogeyman, global warming, is to blame for the catastrophic events which occur. 2012 doesn’t really mention climate change at all.
Instead, the earth’s crust is destabilising or shifting, if you prefer, something which I assume we humans can hardly be blamed for. Unlike the destruction of the ozone layer, which was apparently all us. Tsk, tsk. I blame the ‘Eighties, personally. All that hairspray…!
Remember the whole hoo-ha about the Mayans predicting that the world would come to an end in 2012? Well, as the name implies, this is a movie about their predictions coming true and the world actually coming to an end in 2012. The shifting of the earth’s crust which we just discussed brings about the most cataclysmic earthquakes and tsunamis worldwide. Millions of people are dying as a result.
But not the ones who’ve paid a billion- yes, a billion- euros to board the special giant ‘arks’ that have been built for the privileged few. Talk about fortune favouring the rich, eh…?
John Cusack plays Jackson Curtis, a failed writer/weekend dad who loves his family enough to try to get them onto one of these arks even though he doesn’t have anything like a billion big ones in his back pocket. The journey by aeroplane from America to China, where the arks are based, is perilous and downright unbelievable at times, but what the hey, it’s a movie, after all.
Danny Glover is impressive as the President of the United States of America who chooses to stay behind and take his chances with the people he was elected to lead rather than board the ark. His beloved daughter makes it onto the ark, however, where she just might be lucky enough to find love with her father’s Chief Science Advisor, Adrian Helmsley. Lucky indeed. A ticket to survival and the possibility of hot sex to come…? Nice work if you can get it, haha.
To my mind, there aren’t as many memorable scenes in 2012 as there are in the film with which I automatically seem to compare it, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. They’re both Roland Emmerich apocalyptic blockbusters but THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW has more to offer in the way of stand-out scenes. For example, there’s the Statue of Liberty up to her armpits in snow or the enormous displaced ship sailing silently up the street past the library where Jake Gyllenhaal and his little chums are holed up.
2012 has Queen Elizabeth and her precious corgis boarding the ark, the Pope giving a last address to his people from his balcony just before the Vatican collapses and kills everybody in sight, and adorable giraffes and elephants being airlifted onto the ark because, after all, the survivors will need to repopulate what’s left of the earth with animals as well as humans, right…?
The special effects are great, as you might expect from a big-budget Roland Emmerich movie, but the film is about a half-hour too long and the story drags in places. Also, I didn’t really warm to John Cusack and his family too much. There was something unlikeable and off-putting about them, and Woody Harrelson as the crazy old the-end-is-nigh self-styled disc jockey Charlie Frost was just plain nuts. I was absolutely bloody delighted when he didn’t take John Cusack up on his offer of transport to China to board the ark.
Apocalyptic disaster movies can be great fun to watch. I just feel like the ‘heart’ was kind of missing from this one. You don’t need to take my word for it, however. Watch it for yourself and make up your own mind about it. It’s a butt-numbing two-and-a-half hours long, though, so make sure you go to the toilet before you press PLAY…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
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2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
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7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
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