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
The team that brought us "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow" destroys the world yet again. This was an abso-frickin-lutely LUDICROUS movie. The special FX are great (of course) but the "story" was probably written on a cocktail napkin. It was fun watching the various cities and landmarks get vaporized for a little while, but from the halfway point on it simply became hilarious, which is a problem because this movie isn't supposed to be a comedy. It just turned out that way.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Conrad H. (RevConrad) from PARKERSBURG, WV Reviewed on 2/25/2012...
Very good movie. The plot is a little unrealistic but still a good movie.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Edna H. (tessiss) from FRANKLINVILLE, NC Reviewed on 8/3/2011...
didnt think i would like this movie but i really did
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
John P. (AvraValleyJohn) from MARANA, AZ Reviewed on 4/30/2011...
a FANTASTIC movie, the latest in a string of superb disaster flicks turned out by Centropolis !
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Belinda S. (niara) from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 4/5/2011...
Utterly ridiculous and ludicrous. Non-stop destruction. I live in New York and had flashbacks to 9/11 just watching it. Plot holes so large you could have driven a plane through it. Laughable performances by John Cusack, who will always be the geekazoid kid from 16 Candles, which is probably his best performance. Actually felt sorry and embarrassed for Chiwetel Ejiofor and Danny Glover, two notable actors with good work done between them. Pretentious -- took itself way too seriously. Watch it for the effects but please don't expect anything remotely resembling a story. Oh, except that the world is coming to an end. And I feel fine.
3 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kathy E. from CLINTON, MO Reviewed on 3/18/2011...
Loved this movie, its right up there with End of Days and Independance Day. The computer animated parts were amazing and so realistic. The acting was believable so that if noone was acting up around you, you could almost feel like you were there seeing it happen. The only thing I would have done was add a bit more dramatic music at certain points, if there was music it was not memorable.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kathleen Y. from STERLING HTS, MI Reviewed on 2/21/2011...
This was a fantastic thrill ride of a movie. The ending kind of lost some of my interest but it is a movie I could watch over and over.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Theresa H. from OAKDALE, CA Reviewed on 11/29/2010...
I loved this movi-but I'm not a Cusak fan. Getting out of LA took up a lot of time and went on too long--but isn't that just like LA traffic?
My hubby and I had a great talk about this movie--and how survivors were picked. Would you pay and keep it a secret? Other people who have seen this also agreed that afterward it was a good flick to mull over a cup a java-or wine.
Good date night flick.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lou B. from PALMDALE, CA Reviewed on 10/11/2010...
I thought this was a fun action packed movie with good effects. If you like sci fi movies, you will like this one.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lewis P. (Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 8/12/2010...
Great special effects + one dimensional characters = passable but typical disaster movie
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In order to enjoy a disaster movie, it's important to suspend your disbelief to a large extent. Don't expect this type of movie to be at all logical, nor should you expect its characters to be very well developed. If the plot takes you from 'A' to 'B', with a reasonable amount of fast-paced action, then it probably has done its job.
No, I did not think 2012 was masterpiece; but with its great special effects, it certainly ranks as passable. 2012 deals with a rather unpleasant subject: the end of the world. The ancient Mayan prediction that the world will come to an end in 2012, comes true in this movie. Director Roland Emmerich purposely avoids hammering his audience with true tragedy. We never see any close-ups of mangled bodies or blood being shed. Everything is shot at a distance so that we get the 'bigger picture' of what it would be like when the world is destroyed; that way, the true horror and terror is minimized.
The best scenes in 2012 focus on the journey of part-time novelist and limousine driver, Jackson Curtis, very ably played by John Cusack. His journey begins when he picks up his kids from his ex-wife, who is now living with a new boyfriend, Gordon, a plastic surgeon, and takes them on a vacation excursion to Yellowstone National Park. Curtis runs into the best character in the film, Charlie Frost, in one of Woody Harrelson's best roles in a long time. What's so wonderful about the crazed Frost, is that he's one of these guys who's been trying to warn the world about his apocalyptic world view for years and now everything he's been saying has been vindicated. Frost actually welcomes death and stands impassively as the volcano consumes him. He revels in his last 'moment in the sun'. Curtis, on the other hand, initially believes him to be a crackpot, especially after Frost claims he has a map with the location of a secret ark project, which the world leaders have been working on, anticipating the end of the world.
Finally Curtis sees the light when he sees the news report about the seismic activity that splits a supermarket in half which his ex-wife and her boyfriend were just in. He wisely rents a small plane and then drives to LA where he picks up his ex-wife, the boyfriend and his two children and then drives to the airport as the city collapses around them. Yes, all the near misses are ridiculous, but the special effects will keep you riveted to your seat. After making it to the airport, there's a new surprise: the pilot is dead and Gordon must fly the plane, despite only having a few lessons as a student pilot. They fly to Yellowstone in order to get a hold of Charlie's map and just escape as a volcano explodes. The map points to China and Curtis realizes that they'll never get there in a Cessna.
When they arrive in Las Vegas, a huge crack has already appeared in the airport runway. Curtis runs into his Russian billionaire boss, Yuri, who has paid for tickets on the Ark, and also happens to have a giant Antonov 500 aircraft, which takes them to China. Yuri is another colorful character, who ruthlessly ditches his girlfriend, Tamara, as he only has three tickets for himself and two children on the Ark. But later, he redeems himself by saving his children by throwing them onto the Ark while the gates are closed and then falling to his death as a result.
There's more exciting action when the Ark is unable to power up due to a jammed and malfunctioning boarding gate. At the last minute, as the effects of a tsunami pushes the Ark toward Mt. Everest (which has been displaced to a different location thousands of miles away due to a movement of the earth's crust) , Curtis goes underwater inside the hydraulics chamber (and with the assistance of his son) removes an impact driver which has been preventing the Ark from powering up.
As to be expected, despite all the great action scenes, 2012 falls down in the area of character development. Emmerich serves up a cornucopia of politically correct characters including three blacks who are virtually faultless. They are: Dr. Adrian Helmsely, the American geologist, who proves how righteous he is when he insists that the stranded passengers who couldn't board a damaged Ark be allowed on the one he's boarded (Helmsley notes that his assigned room can fit a lot more people). Pitted against him is the supposedly heartless, white Chief of Staff, Carl Annheuser (Oliver Platt), who argues realistically that allowing the extra passengers might jeopardize the entire project. Even worse is the saintly president, Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover), who decides to remain in Washington, and 'go down with the ship'. In contrast, Emmerich obnoxiously has Queen Elizabeth board the Ark with a couple of her Corgis, implying that she's a coward! Naturally the president's daughter, Laura Wilson, must overcome her grief by striking up a romance with Helmseley, as they head for their new destination in Africa.
There's plenty of other cheesy stuff that relegates 2012 to the realm of the mediocre. There's a particularly distasteful line about how the gene pool will be compromised when two Arab sheiks are seen, en route to board one of the Arks. And what about how expendable Gordon, the ex-wife's boyfriend is. After he's killed, it takes a scant minute or so before the ex-wife is back in the arms of John Cusack (Curtis). Also note that that Tibetan Buddhist monks are noble but Chinese soldiers are heartless. Other disappointing characters and moments are well chronicled here on the internet. But 2012 sometimes gets it right: the last moment of the Indian astrophysicist and his family may go down as one of the most touching moments in cinematic history.
2 of 3 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."