From Roland Emmerich, director of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and INDEPENDENCE DAY, comes the ultimate action-adventure film, exploding with groundbreaking special effects. As the world faces a catastrophe of apocalyptic propor... more »tions, cities collapse and continents crumble. 2012 brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. Starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover.« less
Pretty awesome CGI but the plotline lacked at times. John Cusack shines in this so it's a must if you are a fan!
JOSEPH E. from WOODHAVEN, MI Reviewed on 1/31/2016...
Good movie, great special effects.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Oh swell, when the world ends, we're gonna save *all* the po
Rosemary Thornton | Norfolk, VA | 11/14/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"So, when the world ends, it's the politicians and bureaucrats that we're gonna save, and the writers and the artists and the spiritual leaders are left behind to deal with the apocalypse. That was the most depressing element of the movie. What will the world look like if we only save the "important people" in Washington? Heaven help us. Seriously. If the future world is to be populated with the slimy-dog politicians and their ilk, I think I'll take my chances with eternal life, thank you very much.
Sitting in the darkened theater watching 2012, I was reminded of "The Bunker" at White Sulphur Springs (in West Virginia). Construction on the 110,000-square-foot bunker was started under Eisenhower's watch, when we were worried that the USSR might blow us up into lots of radioactive pieces. Turns out, our beloved elected officials were prepared to push The Red Button that'd end the world as we know it, and then turn-tail and run into their bunker, slam the blast-proof door behind them and emerge 90 days later when the danger had passed. And the most amazing part: The Bunker is outfitted with gee-whiz features that'd lead the unsuspecting public to believe the lawmakers were still comfortably ensconced in Washington, DC. In other words, The Bunker was *designed* to perpetrate a fraud on the American people.
Watching "2012" I thought about The Bunker and realized, this movie is probably right. If and when the world ends, it'll be the politically important that are given seats on the lifeboats. And it's probably right that if there is a cataclysmic event, the Powers That Be will not tell the unwashed masses what's going on, lest they try and steal one of those seats on the lifeboat.
That's just depressing on so many levels.
But I digress.
This movie is definitely impressive on the big screen, and the soundtrack has plenty of bass (which I like). But the script and the writing was a little sappy for my tastes. And as to believability - well - this movie fell short on that score, too. I don't want to spoil the plot, but NO ONE can drive a limousine *that* well. On the plus side, the graphics are truly amazing and scarier than anything I've ever seen before. I had to turn away from the screen to avoid some of the scary-as-hell images. It's a pretty intense flick, and it does a good job of drawing you in.
A nice side effect: After watching this movie, I'm a lot less worried about getting those pesky credit cards paid off. Does make you think a little more about enjoying every day, and appreciating the simple beauty in our world.
In conclusion, it's an interesting flick with awe-inspiring graphics, and it'll hold your attention - if you can suspend disbelief for a couple hours."
This is why we go to the movies
Annihilatrix1138 | CA, United States | 11/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think people judge these movies very unfairly. It surprises me when a movie like 2012 comes along and it's ripped apart before it's even released. "This movie's gonna blow, it's two and a half hours of things blowing up." I have to play back the sentence in my mind and figure out what was negative about that concept. These movies are meant to be fun, and usually nothing more than that.
I say "usually" because sometimes you get a movie that has absolutely no other reason to exist than to make things explode and momentarily lower your IQ (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Single-Disc Edition) is out now. Fun movie.) but occasionally you get something like 2012, which not only offers the calculated mayhem that fans of the action genre desire, but it also offers a surprisingly deep philosophical undertone. Go figure, right?
The movie opens with a fifteen minute montage that sets up the events that will eventually transpire on 2012, and gives us a look at the backroom dealings that occur in the wake of this disturbing discovery concerning the fate of humanity. Once that's over with, the movie picks up rather quickly, introducing us to the main character, Jackson Curtis, his more-than-dysfunctional family and a grab bag of supporting characters. After a botched camping trip, things kick off rather quickly.
What follows are two hours of absolute chaos. The CG in this movie is astounding, and I cannot stress this enough. The action is relentless, creative, and satisfying on the whole. The LA sequence alone will have you smiling, then you will realize you still have a lot more movie to go, and it never disappoints. The pacing is excellent in this regard. I was in awe the entire way through.
That's the bottom line: If you love action movies or a good old fashioned thrill ride, the disaster sequences alone are worth the price of admission (unless you're an astrophysicist, in which case you might be crossing your arms and groaning at this film all the way through).
But what I liked the most about this film was its underlying religious theme. People might be quick to pick up on the major references to this, such as (POSSIBLE SPOILER, though it's in the trailer): the crack forming between Adam and God on Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam" at the Sistine Chapel, the destruction of Christ the Redeemer, Vatican City, and the Buddhist temple. With these and other biblical references that you will miss if you blink, Emmerich seems to postulate a world in which you don't need God for miracles, and where everyone is back on even ground again.
Another theme that Emmerich sets up is the social borders that divide us more than we think. In a world that is coming to an end, it's not the strong who survive, only the smartest and the wealthiest. The film argues against utilitarianism on several fronts, going so far as to say that to embrace such a concept to an outrageous extent, even to save mankind, would result in a race of humans deprived of its humanity.
Now, I could be wrong. I'm not saying that my interpretation of the movie is spot on, but the movie did make me think, and that's what I found remarkable returning home from watching a film in which I thought I was just going to watch things blow up for two hours.
I walked in knowing that no one makes disaster movies better than Roland Emmerich, but I ended up watching something that entertained me immensely, made me think, and spurred on a very long conversation between my friends and I. THAT'S how a movie more than earns the price of admission."
Jaw-dropping destructive CG mayhem, but storyline dumb as a
buru buru piggu | New York, NY USA | 11/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sir or madam, if you came for intelligent, thought-provoking sci-fi, please leave right now. If you know anything about Roland Emmerich, you know that he likes his CG... and lots of it, and usually at the expense of believability and good storytelling sense, even for the far out science fiction genre where audiences expect the usual. If instead, you came to see lots of glorious CG mayhem and stuff getting destroyed in spectacular fashion, you are in for a good time. 2012 is unabashedly dumb sci-fi and elevates the art of apocalyptic destruction to new heights. His over-the-top CG-driven films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars around the world, so why change a winning, if uninspired, formula, right? After the abysmal 10,000 B.C., Emmerich went back to doing what he does best: blowing famous places up. This time, he blows up the entire world. A master of subtlety he is not.
The story takes too long to ramp up, and for the first 35 minutes, I was waiting for the destruction to begin. Never mind the paper-thin premise of the Mayan prophecy. It's only mentioned in passing. We don't get any explanation of that besides a 60-second Flash animation made by Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), a survivalist, conspiracy nut and amateur radio personality. I didn't care about the predictable and cliche exposition about the discovery by scientists of Earth's impending doom and preposterous scientific explanation that follows. We've seen this already in Day After Tomorrow, The Core, or Deep Impact, and countless other disaster movies. The idea of solar flares heating up the Earth and dire predictions of destruction are similar to Knowing. You can sleep through the first 1/4 of the movie and not miss anything. It's all background exposition about characters we don't care about, including Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a writer who works part-time as a chauffeur to a rich Russian businessman, Curtis's estranged wife and 2 kids, or her new plastic surgeon boyfriend, and other dysfunctional relationships between father and son, etc. Everyone is pretty much a throw-away character with throw-away performances by a seemingly laryngitis-afflicted Danny Glover as the unconvincing President, Thandie Newton as his daughter, etc, but you didn't come for the human drama.
In 2012, Emmerich is up to his old tired tricks again. Jackson Curtis is rapper 50 Cent's name backwards. In 10,000 BC, the protagonist is named D'Leh, which is "Held" backwards, German for "hero". He likes to re-use character stereotypes. We get a nutty disposable character, Charlie (a waste of Woody Harrelson's talents), who is the same kind of character as the homeless guy from Day After Tomorrow. We also have the same tireless scientist trying to convince world leaders. We get a dog running to its owner and leaping to safety at the last possible moment just like in Independence Day. One of the kids is named Noah, a corny reference to the later plot element. Lastly, we get a heavy-handed, trite, and preachy speech at the end about humanity and compassion like in Independence Day. It's all very kid-friendly PG-13 stuff and it's OK that the rest of the humanity gets completely annihilated as long as the main characters escape impossible odds by the skin of their teeth, right?
The story is safe, very average, and wholly predictable, but that's what makes it profitable. If you're going to see this, you are probably in it for the CG anyway and not for the quantum leaps of logic required to follow the story, and that's where I can find no fault. The CG is extravagant and you've never seen terrestrial destruction this fantastical before! With top-notch cinematography and set designs, 2012 really sets the bar very high for future apocalyptic films to come and takes us to new levels of ridiculosity. Entire continents get ripped up, whole cities go down in flames, an aircraft carrier demolishes the White House! And of course, our heroes flee in a Russian Antonov An-225, the largest fixed wing aircraft ever built (it was designed to transport the Russian space shuttle), because fuel economy and maneuverability is no big deal when escaping the end of the world, and of course, 10 people really do need all that leg room. And naturally, such a plane would be filled with Bentleys, Ferraris and other luxury cars that they don't jettison, because you never know when you might need them. Don't you know how hard it is to find voice-activated ignition and genuine all-leather interiors during the end times?
Remember to turn off your brain. Sit back and enjoy! Everything fall down, go BOOM."
Earth cracks, billions die, split family is together again (
A. Dent | Minas Anor, GD | 03/14/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There isn't a lot to say about 2012 so, let me start with the Blu-ray single disk version features and virtues. I will then say a few words about the movie itself.
This release comes with:
- an alternate ending (not very interesting) - a picture-in-picture commentary - every now and then a little window opens in the lower right section of the screen and team members discuss various aspects of movie making - alternate sound track commentary - MovieIQ - a feature seen in other Sony Blu-ray features, offers access to an online movie database that displays information related to the scene playing. One neat feature allows you to get the MovieIQ info synced in real time and have it displayed on your computer or iPhone.
- 1080p HD at 2.40:1 - 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound is available in English and French - Subtitles in English and French
Regardless of the movie's artistic merits, the audio-visual execution is impeccable. Anyone into disaster/destruction thrills should seek this movie. The CGI is realistic to the minutest of details and the surround sound engineers made sure that you will feel the collapse of the Earth's crust pounding in your tummy - if you play it loud enough.
As it was the case with 'The Day After' - global warming triggers a new ice age - the 2012 science ranges somewhere halfway between implausible to plain ridiculous. The idea that neutrinos coming out of the Sun "mutate" into a different particle and heat up the Earth's core (but not, let's say, the scientists who came up with the explanation) would cause most physicists to either pull their hair in frustration or laugh uncontrollably. And I won't even touch the mystical aspect (Mayan predictions) which make it all so much confusing: was there some supernatural force that forced the Sun to produce 'mutated' neutrinos? We don't know.
A lot of the movie's science is ridiculous beyond belief. Overnight thousand-mile shifts of Earth's crust or the magnetic pole moving to Wisconsin would be outcomes of changes so catastrophic, we would see not mile-high tsunamis but watch (so to speak) the entire planet break into pieces. My impression is that the script writers either had no idea of what they were writing about or maybe they underestimated the audience's ability to detect nonsense when 'scientific words' were used. Quite depressing.
Well... we have two main threads. It's the end of life as we know it, with billions dying and, equally important, the story of Jackson's (John Cusack) family that starts as 'split' (divorce?) but, by the time the Himalayas go under water, they are reunited and it's reasonable to assume that they won't separate again, at least not before the children grow up or another disaster affects the family's inegrity.
I will give this movie 2 stars for the picture and the sound effects. And these are not 'cheap thrills' given the $200 million budget. Sadly, there's not much more there. A little bit of humor when portraying a Russian tycoon and an end of the world enthusiast living in a tent at Yellowstone (they both die) and John Cusack's reliably good performance and not much else.
I'm afraid that many viewers may find watching this movie a waste of their time."
If you thought WAR INC was bad
J. Forst | Farmington Hills, Michigan United States | 04/21/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"(Possible spoiler alert though I doubt it)- Does John Cusak have any good movies left that are pitched to him? To say that this even had a realistic plot is going a far stretch. Outrunning earthquakes and destruction w/ a small airplane? Hopping across broken earth in an RV? Somehow breathing and seeing underwater to untangle cables to save the lives of everyone? I know that movies like this are just CGI-fests for the eyes but this is just too much. Reuniting of old lovers, your kids who ignored you now love you - basically any stereotype of safety net you could put in a movie is here. John Cusak must laugh his butt off on his way too the bank cashing these 'acting' checks. Another horrible plot with predictable acting and an even more predictable script. Just like the movie "day after Tomorrow" - you had a good idea that was plagued w/ bad acting and even worse scripts. Yeesh. PS - Woody harrelson must of needed some weed money to accept a few scenes in this movie. His over the top performance as a 'hippie dude' (go figure) is just too much for me in this one."